Tippecanoe School Corporation
Bylaws & Policies
 

0140 - MEMBERSHIP

0141

Number

 
 

The School Board shall consist of seven (7) members.

 

0142

Election/Appointment

 
 

Members shall be qualified and elected from the following geographic districts:

 
 

District 1 - Wabash Township and portion of Shelby Township

 
 

District 2 - Tippecanoe Township

 
 

District 3 - Washington and Perry Townships

 
 

District 4 - Wea Township and portion of Fairfield Township

 
 

District 5 - Sheffield and Lauramie Townships

 
 

District 6 - Wayne and Union Townships

 
 

District 7 - Jackson and Randolph Townships

 
 

Each member shall be elected by all eligible voters of the Corporation on at "at-large" basis at the regular General Election in November and shall serve the interests of the entire Corporation. All qualified candidates who file for the office shall be listed on the nonpartisan ballot. The candidate from each district receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared the District's Board member.

 
 

In order to assure a staggering of terms and the presence of a majority of experienced members on the Board at all times, members from Districts 1, 2, and 3 shall be elected on one (1) year's ballot, and members from Districts 4, 5, 6, and 7 on the next biennial ballot, an election thus being held every other year.

 
 

The qualifications of a Board member shall be: At least twenty-one (21) years of age; a registered voter; a high school graduate; and a resident of the district s/he represents for two (2) years immediately preceding the election.

 
 

Revised 11/9/11

 

0142.1

Term

 
 

The term of each Board member shall be four (4) years and shall commence on January 1st following election for all except the member residing in District 7, whose term shall commence on the second January 1st following election.

 
 

Revised 11/9/11

 

0142.2

Oath

 
 

Each newly elected Board member shall take the following oath of office:

 
 

"I solemnly swear, or affirm, that I will support the Constitution of the United States of America, the Constitution of the State of Indiana, and the laws of the United States and the State of Indiana. I will faithfully execute the duties of my office as a member of this governing body, so help me God."

 
 
 

The oath must be signed by the Board member and the person who administers it and filed in the circuit court clerkís office of the county. (I.C. 20-26-4-2; I.C. 5-4-1-4)

 

0142.3

Vacancies

 
 

The position of a Board member shall become vacant upon the occurrence of any one (1) of the following events:

 
 

A.

death of the member is certified by the clerk of the circuit court (I.C. 5-8-6 and I.C. 20-26-4-4.5c))

 
 

B.

failure of a sufficient number of petitions for candidates for Board membership being filed for an election (I.C. 20-26-4-4(c))

 
 

C.

a member submits a written resignation from the Board to the clerk of the circuit court pursuant to I.C. 5-8-3.5-1(a)(4)

 
 

D.

a member is convicted of a felony (I.C. 5-8-1-38)

 
 

E.

a member's election or appointment is declared void by a competent tribunal

 
 

F.

the winner of an election fails to take the oath of office required by I.C. 20-26-4-3-2

 
 

G.

a member ceases to possess the legal qualifications for continuing to hold office

 
 

H.

a member ceases to be a resident of the Corporation (I.C. 20-23-4-30(e)) (applicable to community school corporations only)

 
 

I.

a member is removed from office by action of the Circuit Court pursuant to I.C. 5-8-1-35

 
 

J.

a court enters an order removing a member from office based upon a conviction for bribery or official misconduct under I.C. 35-50-5-1.1

 
 

K.

a member is convicted of any crime against the laws of the United States where the sentence imposed exceeds six (6) months, (evading the Selective Service Act), engaging in conspiracy or an attempt to defraud the government of the United States, or seditious utterances in violation of the laws of the United States (I.C. 5-8-3-1)

 
 

L.

a member voluntarily became intoxicated within the business hours of the Board, or is in the habit of becoming intoxicated by the use of intoxicating liquors and is removed from office under I.C. 34-17 (I.C. 5-8-2-1)

 
 

I.C. 5-8-1-35, 5-8-3.5-1

 

I.C. 20-23-4-30

 
 

Filling a Board Vacancy

 
 

A vacancy shall be filled by the remaining members of the Board within thirty (30) days after the vacancy occurs. If a tie vote occurs among the remaining members of the Board or between candidates for the Board under I.C. 3-12-9-4, or the remaining members of the remaining Board members fail to fill a vacancy on the Board within thirty (30) days after any vacancy occurs, the judge of the circuit court shall make an appointment to fill the vacancy. (I.C. 20-23-4-30(d)(1) & (2))

 
 

The Board shall seek qualified and interested candidates from the community through the news media, word of mouth, and contacts with appropriate organizations.

 
 

All applicants are to submit a notice of their interest, in writing, to the Board President.

 
 

The Board shall interview interested candidates to ascertain their qualifications.

 
 

Revised 1/12/11

 

0142.4

Board Member Leave of Absence for Military Service

 
 

A Board member who elects to take a leave of absence because s/he has been called into active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States or the National Guard and is therefore unable to perform the duties of boardmanship is entitled to a leave of absence for the period of time of the active duty. A Board memberís salary will be prorated to reflect the period of active duty.

 
 

The Board member shall give written notice to the Clerk of the Circuit Court stating that s/he has been called into active duty and will be temporarily unable to perform the duties of school Board member.

 
 

During the Board memberís leave of absence the position on the Board must be filled in the same manner as filling other vacancies on the Board. The person selected or appointed serves until the date the Board memberís leave of absence ends or the term of his/her office expires.

 
 

The person selected or appointed to the Board assumes the rights and duties of boardmembership and receives the adopted compensation established for the office for the time of the temporary appointment.

 
 

In the event the Board member's term of office expires during such a leave of absence, the office shall be filled as provided by law. Except as provided by a Federal law or regulation, a Board member who is on such a leave of absence is entitled to become a candidate for and be elected to the office from which s/he has taken a leave of absence.

 
 

I.C. 5-9-4

 

0142.5

Orientation

 
 

The Board believes that the preparation of each Board member for the performance of Board duties is essential to the effective functioning of the Board. The Board shall encourage each new Board member to understand the functions of the Board, acquire knowledge of matters related to the operation of the Corporation, and learn Board procedures. Accordingly, the Board shall give to each new Board member no later than his/her first regular meeting as a Board member for his/her use and possession during the term on the Board the following items:

 
 

A.

a copy of the Board policy manual

 
 

B.

a copy of each current negotiated agreement

 
 

C.

the current budget statement, audit report, and related fiscal materials

 
 

The Board will provide and maintain a library of publications and reference materials for the use of Board members.

 
 

Each new Board member shall be invited to meet with the Board President, the Superintendent, and the Business Manager to discuss Board functions, policies, and procedures.

 
 

The Board shall encourage the attendance of each new Board member at orientation and training meetings.

 

0143

Board Member Authority

 
 

Individual members of the Board do not possess the powers that reside in the School Board, but no member of the Board shall be denied documents or information to which s/he is legally entitled and which are required in the performance of his/her duties as a Board member. Such examination should be conducted with the knowledge of the Superintendent or designee.

 
 

Access to Corporation personnel records shall be subject to the following guidelines:

 
 

A.

Examination of school employee personnel records by the School Board shall be conducted only at executive sessions of the Board. Any Board member may request that the Superintendent bring the personnel records of a designated employee(s) to an executive meeting of the Board.

 
 

B.

Personnel records shall, in their entirety, be returned to the custody of the Superintendent at the conclusion of the executive session of the Board.

 
 

C.

Information obtained from employee personnel records by members of the Board shall be used only for the purpose of aiding the members in fulfilling their legal responsibilities in making decisions in matters such as appointments, assignments, promotions and demotions, remuneration, discipline, and dismissal or to aid the development and implementation of personnel policies, or for such other uses as are necessary to enable the Board to carry out its legal responsibilities.

 
 

I.C. 20-26-5-4

0143.1

Public Expressions of Board Members

 
 

From time-to-time individual Board members make public statements on school matters to local media and to local and/or State officials.

 
 

Sometimes the statements imply, or the readers (listeners) infer, that the opinions expressed or statements made are the official positions of the Board. The misunderstandings that can result from these incidents can embarrass both the member and the Board. Therefore, Board members should, when writing or speaking on school matters to the media, legislators, and other officials, make it clear that their views do not necessarily reflect the views of the Board or of their colleagues on the Board.

 
 

A.

This bylaw shall apply to all statements and/or writings by individual Board members not explicitly sanctioned by a majority of its members, except as follows:

 
 

1.

correspondence, such as legislative proposals, when the Board member has received official guidance from the Board on the matters discussed in the letter

 
 

2.

routine, not for publication, correspondence of the Superintendent and other Board employees

 
 

3.

routine "thank you" letters

 
 

4.

statements by Board members on nonschool matters (providing the statements do not identify the author as a member of the Board)

 
 

5.

personal statements not intended for publication

 
 

B.

Copies of this bylaw shall be sent to local media by the Board President.

 

0144

Operations

 

0144.1

Compensation

 
 

A.

Each Board member shall receive the maximum annual compensation authorized under I.C. 20-26-4-7.

 
 

B.

In addition to the annual compensation authorized under I.C. 20-26-4-7, each member of the School Board shall be entitled to receive a per diem allowance for attendance at each regular meeting of the Board, which is hereby defined to include the regularly scheduled monthly sessions of the Board, provided that the number of regular meetings which will qualify for this per diem allowance shall not exceed twelve (12) regular meetings in any calendar year. The per diem allowance shall be the maximum amount permitted by I.C. 20-26-4-7.

 
 

C.

In addition to the annual compensation authorized under I.C. 20-26-4-7, each member of the School Board shall be entitled to receive a per diem allowance for attendance at each work session and special meeting of the Board, which is hereby defined to include the periodically scheduled work sessions or special meetings of the Board, provided that the number of work sessions and special meetings which will qualify for this per diem allowance shall not exceed sixteen (16) work sessions or special meetings in any calendar year. The per diem allowance shall be the maximum amount permitted by I.C. 20-26-4-7.

 
 

D.

In addition to the annual compensation authorized under I.C. 20-26-4-7, each member of the School Board shall be entitled to receive a per diem allowance for attendance at each executive session meeting of the Board, which is hereby defined to include the periodically scheduled executive session meeting of the Board, provided that the number of executive session meetings which will qualify for this per diem allowance shall not exceed twelve (12) executive session meetings in any calendar year. The per diem allowance shall be the maximum amount permitted by I.C. 20-26-4-7.

 
 

E.

In addition to the annual compensation authorized under I.C. 20-26-4-7, each member of the School Board shall be entitled to receive a per diem allowance for attendance at each committee meeting of the Board, which is hereby defined to include all meetings of any committee or organization to which the Board member is appointed by the President of the Board pursuant to the Boardís authorization approved in the organization meeting of the Board provided that the number of committee meetings which will qualify for this per diem allowance shall not exceed four (4) committee meetings in any calendar year. The per diem allowance shall be the maximum amount permitted by I.C. 20-26-4-7

 
 

F.

In the event more than one (1) meeting is scheduled to occur on any one (1) day, the Board member shall only be entitled to receive one (1) per diem allowance.

 
 

G.

Attendance of a Board member at any meeting, for purposes of entitlement for a per diem allowance, shall be determined solely on the basis of the record of such Board member's attendance as reflected in the minutes of the meeting to which the minutes apply. If minutes are not made at any meeting, attendance of the Board member shall be determined solely on the basis of a written record of such Board memberís attendance signed by the Board member and by a presiding officer of such meeting and presented to the TSC Chief Financial Officer.

 
 

H.

Individual Board members may accept or reject all or any portion of the compensation or per diem allowances provided in this Bylaw, in their discretion. Unless any Board member notifies the Superintendent to the contrary, the Superintendent shall issue the appropriate vouchers for payment of all amounts to which the Board member is entitled under this Bylaw.

 
 

I.C. 20-26-4-7

 
 

Revised 5/8/13

 

0144.2

Board Member Ethics

 
 

A School Board member should honor the high responsibility which his/her membership demands by:

 
 

A.

thinking always in terms of "children first";

 
 

B.

understanding that the basic function of the School Board member is "policy-making" and not "administrative" (see 0120), and by accepting the responsibility of learning to discriminate intelligently between these two (2) functions;

 
 

C.

accepting the responsibility along with his/her fellow Board members of seeing that the maximum of facilities and resources is provided for the proper functioning of schools;

 
 

D.

refusing to "play politics" in either the traditional partisan, or in any petty sense;

 
 

E.

representing at all times the entire school community;

 
 

F.

accepting the responsibility of becoming well informed concerning the duties of Board members, and the proper functions of public schools;

 
 

G.

recognizing responsibility as a State official to seek the improvement of education throughout the State.

 
 

A School Board member should respect his/her relationships with other members of the Board by:

 
 

A.

recognizing that authority rests only with the Board in official meetings, and that the individual member has no legal status to bind the Board outside of such meetings;

 
 

B.

recognizing the integrity of his/her predecessor and associates and the merit of their work;

 

C.

refusing to make statements or promises as to how s/he will vote on any matter which should properly come before the Board as a whole;

 
 

D.

making decisions only after all facts bearing on a question have been presented and discussed;

 
 

E.

respecting the opinion of others and by graciously conforming to the principle of "majority rule";

 
 

F.

refusing to participate in irregular meetings such as "secret" or "star chamber" meetings, which are not official and which all members do not have the opportunity to attend.

 
 

G.

attempting to fairly appraise both the present and future educational needs of the community.

 
 

A School Board member should maintain desirable relations with the Superintendent of Schools and his/her staff by:

 
 

A.

striving to procure, when the vacancy exists, the best professional leader available for the head administrative post;

 
 

B.

giving the Superintendent full administrative authority for properly discharging his/her professional duties, and also by holding him/her responsible for acceptable results;

 
 

C.

acting only upon the recommendation of the Superintendent in matters of employment or dismissal of school personnel;

 
 

D.

having the Superintendent present at all meetings of the Board except when his/her contract and salary are under consideration;

 
 

E.

referring all complaints to the proper administrative office and by discussing them only at a regular meeting after failure of administrative solution;

 
 

F.

striving to provide adequate safeguards around the Superintendent and other staff members to the end that they can live happily and comfortably in the community and discharge their educational functions on a thoroughly professional basis;

 
 

G.

presenting personal criticisms of any employee directly to the Superintendent.

 
 

A School Board member should meet his/her responsibilities to his/her community by:

 
 

A.

attempting to appraise fairly both the present and future educational needs of the community;

 
 

B.

regarding it as a major responsibility of the Board to interpret the aims and the methods of the schools of the community;

 
 

C.

insisting that all school business transactions be on an open, ethical, and above-board basis;

 
 

D.

vigorously seeking adequate financial support for the schools;

 
 

E.

refusing to use his/her position on a School Board in any way whatsoever for personal gain or personal prestige;

 
 

F.

refusing to discuss personnel matters or any other confidential business of the Board in his/her home, on the street, or in his/her office;

 
 

G.

winning the community's confidence that all is being done in the best interests of school children.

 
 

Indiana School Boards Association

 

0144.3

Conflict of Interest

 
 

Board members shall perform their official duties in a manner free from any possible criticism or prejudice or self interest. To this end:

 
 

A.

every effort shall be made to avoid the possibility of a claim being made that an individual participated in reaching a decision on a matter in which s/he had either a direct or an indirect financial interest of a substantial nature;

 
 

B.

each member of the Board shall resist every temptation and outside pressure to use his/her position as a Board member to benefit either himself/herself or any other individual or agency apart from the total interest of the School Corporation;

 
 

C.

when a member of the Board determines that the possibility of a personal interest conflict exists, s/he should, prior to the matter being considered, disclose his/her interest in accordance with statute (such disclosure shall become a matter of record in the minutes of the Board); and thereafter shall abstain from participation in both the discussion of the matter and the vote thereon; (I.C. 35-44.1-1-4)

 
 

D.

no member of the Board may obtain, for at least one (1) year after termination of service on the Board, a pecuniary interest in any Corporation contract or purchase which was approved during his/her tenure. (I.C. 35-44.1-1-5)

 
 

Revised 10/14/15

 

0144.4

Defense and Indemnification of Board Members

 
 

This bylaw is applicable to all types of civil claims under law including tort claims, civil rights claims, and contract claims. The Board will pay all costs and fees incurred by or on behalf of any Board member in the defense of any claim under law if the Board by resolution determines that the Board member's actions upon which the claim is based arise out of the performance of the member's duties as a Board member, and were taken in good faith. The Board shall, subject to the provisions of Indiana law, also pay any judgment, compromise, or settlement of a claim, or suit when the Board determines by resolution that it is in the best interest of the Corporation to do so, the act or omission upon which the claim is based occurred within the scope of the Board member's duties as a Board member, and the member did not act in bad faith, or with malfeasance in office. The intent of this bylaw is to hold the Board member harmless from any liability, cost, or damages in connection such a claim, including but not limited to the payment of legal fees and court costs, except where the liability, cost, damage, or fees are predicated on, or arises out of, the bad faith of the Board member or the claim or judgment is based on the member's malfeasance in office.

 
 

If a present or former Board member is or could be subject to personal civil liability for a loss occurring because of a noncriminal act or omission within the scope of the member's duties which violates the civil rights laws of the United States, the Board shall, subject to the limitations established by Indiana law pay the judgment, compromise, or settlement of the claim or suit if the Board determines by resolution that paying the judgment, compromise or settlement is in the best interests of the Corporation. The Board shall also pay all costs and fees incurred by or on behalf of Board member in defense of any such claim or suit.

 
 

A Board member shall not be personally liable on contracts entered into within the scope of the member's duties as a Board member unless the contract clearly states otherwise in writing.

 
 

I.C. 20-26-5-4(17)

 

I.C. 34-13-2

 

I.C. 34-13-3-5

 

I.C. 34-13-3-20

 

I.C. 34-13-4-1

 

I.C. 35-44.1-1-5

 
 

Revised 11/9/11

 

Revised 10/14/15

 

0144.5

Gifts and Gratuities

 
 

A Board member or a Corporation employee making a recommendation to the Board on a matter to be considered by the Board shall not accept a gift or gratuity from a person or entity having a substantial personal or pecuniary interest in the Board's decision on the matter in accordance with the restrictions and provisions of I.C. 35-44.1-1-2.

 
 

A Board member who has accepted a gift or gratuity from a person or entity having a substantial personal or pecuniary interest in the Board's decision may return the gift or gratuity or its value to the source and thereafter participate in the process of consideration of the matter, and the Board vote on the matter.

 
 

If a Board member taking part in evaluating a proposal to be considered by the Board, or a dependent of that Board member, has accepted a gift or gratuity from a person or entity having a substantial personal or pecuniary interest in the Board's decision, the Board member shall abstain from all involvement in the formulation of a recommendation to the Board, Board discussion on the matter, and the Board vote on the matter.

 
 

I.C. 35-44.1-1-2

 
 

Revised 10/9/13

 

Revised 10/14/15

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