Policy 203.1 - School Board Procedures; Rules of Order

Reviewed: September 19, 2017

I. PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to provide specific rules of order to conduct meetings of the school board.

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

To ensure that school board meetings are conducted in an orderly fashion, the school board will follow rules of order which will allow the school board:

A. To establish guidelines by which the business of the school board can be conducted in a regular and internally consistent manner;

B. To organize the meetings so all necessary matters can be brought to the school board and decisions of the school board can be made in an orderly and reasonable manner;

C. To insure that members of the school board have the necessary information to make decisions on substantive issues and to insure adequate discussion of decisions to be made; and

D. To insure that meetings and actions of the school board are conducted so as to be informative to the staff and the public, and to produce a clear record of actions taken and decisions made.

III. RULES OF ORDER

A. School board members need not rise to gain the recognition of the chair.

B. A motion will be adopted or carried if it receives the affirmative votes of a majority of those actually voting on the matter. Abstentions are considered to be acquiescence to the vote of the majority. It should be noted that some motions by statute or Robert’s Rules of Order require larger numbers of affirmative votes.

C. All motions that require a second shall receive a second prior to opening the issue for discussion of the school board. If a motion that requires a second does not receive a second, the chair may declare that the motion fails for lack of a second or may provide the second. The names of the members making and seconding a motion shall be recorded in the minutes.

D. The chair shall decide the order in which school board members will be recognized to address an issue. An attempt should be made to alternate between pro and con positions if appropriate to the discussion. A member shall only speak to an issue after the member is recognized by the chair.

E. The chair shall rule on all questions relating to motions and points of order brought before the school board.

F. A ruling by the chair is subject to appeal to the full school board pursuant to Robert’s Rules of Order.

G. The school board shall have authority to recognize any member of the audience regarding a request to be heard at the school board meeting. Members of the public who wish to be heard shall follow school board procedures.

H. The chair has the authority to declare a recess at any time for the purpose of restoring decorum to the meeting or for any other necessary purpose.

I. The chair shall repeat a motion or the substance of a motion prior to the vote. The chair shall call for an affirmative and a negative vote on all motions.

J. The order in which names will be called for roll call votes will be determined by the school board.

K. The chair has the same right and responsibility as each school board member to vote on all issues.

L. The chair shall announce the result of each vote. The vote of each member, including abstentions, shall be recorded in the minutes. If the vote is unanimous, it may be reflected as unanimous in the minutes if the minutes also reflect the members present.

M. A majority of the voting members of the school board constitute a quorum. The absence of a quorum may be raised by the chair or any member. Generally any action taken in the absence of a quorum is null and void. The only legal actions the school board may take in the absence of a quorum are to fix the time at which to adjourn, to adjourn, to recess or to take measures to obtain a quorum.

Legal References:

  • Minn. Stat. § 13D.01, Subd. 4 (Open Meeting Law)
  • Minn. Stat. § 122A.40 (Employment Contracts, Termination)
  • Minn. Stat. § 123B.09, Subds. 6 and 7 (School Board Powers)
  • Minn. Stat. § 126C.53 (Enabling Resolution; Form of Certificates of Indebtedness)
  • Minn. Stat. § 331A.01, Subd. 6 (Newspapers; Definitions)
  • Minn. Stat. § 331A.04, Subd. 6 (Newspapers; Exception to Designation Priority)
  • Minn. Stat. § 471.88 (Exceptions)

Cross References:

Adopted: February 11, 2003
Revised: August 11, 2009
Revised: March 17, 2015
Reviewed: September 19, 2017