Senate File 69
A BILL FOR
1 An Act relating to filling school board vacancies.
2 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA:
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1 1 Section 1. Section 279.6, Code 2015, is amended to read as
1 2 follows:
1 3 279.6 Vacancies == qualification == tenure.
1 4 1. a. Vacancies Except as provided in paragraph "b" and
1 5 subsection 2, vacancies occurring among the officers or members
1 6 of a school board shall be filled by the board by appointment.
1 7 A person so appointed to fill a vacancy in an elective office
1 8 shall hold office until a successor is elected and qualified
1 9 pursuant to section 69.12. To fill a vacancy occurring among
1 10 the members of a school board, the board shall publish notice
1 11 in the manner prescribed by section 279.36, stating that the
1 12 board intends to fill the vacancy by appointment but that
1 13 the electors of the school district have the right to file
1 14 a petition requiring that the vacancy be filled by a special
1 15 election conducted pursuant to section 279.7. The board may
1 16 publish notice in advance if a member of the board submits a
1 17 resignation to take effect at a future date. The board may
1 18 make an appointment to fill the vacancy after the notice is
1 19 published or after the vacancy occurs, whichever is later.
1 20 b. If within fourteen days after publication of a notice
1 21 required pursuant to paragraph "a", or within fourteen
1 22 days after the appointment is made, there is filed with
1 23 the secretary of the school board a petition requesting a
1 24 special election to fill the vacancy, an appointment to fill
1 25 the vacancy is temporary and the board shall call a special
1 26 election pursuant to section 279.7, to fill the vacancy for
1 27 the remaining balance of the unexpired term. When the board
1 28 is reduced below a quorum, the secretary of the board, or if
1 29 there is no secretary, the area education agency administrator,
1 30 shall call a special election in the district, subdistrict, or
1 31 subdistricts, as the case may be, to fill the vacancies. The
1 32 petition must be signed by eligible electors equal in number
1 33 to not less than one hundred or thirty percent of the number of
1 34 voters at the last preceding regular school election, whichever
1 35 is greater.
2 1 c. A person appointed to fill a vacancy in an appointive
2 2 office shall hold such office for the residue of the unexpired
2 3 term and until a successor is appointed and qualified. Any
2 4 person so appointed shall qualify within ten days thereafter in
2 5 the manner required by section 277.28.
2 6 2. A vacancy shall be filled at the next regular school
2 7 election if a member of a school board resigns from the board
2 8 not later than forty=five days before the election and the
2 9 notice of resignation specifies an effective date at the
2 10 beginning of the next term of office for elective school
2 11 officials. The president of the board shall declare the office
2 12 vacant as of the date of the next organizational meeting.
2 13 Nomination papers shall be received for the unexpired term of
2 14 the resigning member. The person elected at the next regular
2 15 school election to fill the vacancy shall take office at the
2 16 same time and place as the other elected school board members.
2 17 Sec. 2. Section 279.7, subsection 1, Code 2015, is amended
2 18 to read as follows:
2 19 1. If a vacancy or vacancies occur among the elective
2 20 officers or members of a school board and the remaining
2 21 members of the board have not filled the vacancy within thirty
2 22 days after the vacancy becomes known by the secretary or the
2 23 board or if a valid petition is submitted to the secretary
2 24 of the board pursuant to section 279.6, subsection 1, or
2 25 when the board is reduced below a quorum, the secretary of
2 26 the board, or if there is no secretary, the area education
2 27 agency administrator, shall call a special election in the
2 28 district, subdistrict, or subdistricts, as the case may be,
2 29 to fill the vacancy or vacancies. The county commissioner of
2 30 elections shall publish the notices required by law for special
2 31 elections, and the election shall be held not sooner than
2 32 thirty days nor later than forty days after the thirtieth day
2 33 following the day the vacancy becomes known by the secretary or
2 34 the board. If the secretary fails for more than three days to
2 35 call an election, the administrator shall call it.
3 1 EXPLANATION
3 2 The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with
3 3 the explanation's substance by the members of the general assembly.
3 4 This bill relates to the filling of school district board
3 5 vacancies.
3 6 The bill maintains current law for the filling of a vacancy
3 7 that occurs not later than 45 days before a regular school
3 8 election. The bill also maintains current law requiring that
3 9 the school board fill all other vacancies occurring among the
3 10 officers and members of the school board by appointment.
3 11 The bill requires that the board publish notice of the intent
3 12 of the board to fill a vacancy among the members of a school
3 13 board by appointment, but that the electors of the school
3 14 district have the right to file a petition requiring that the
3 15 vacancy be filled by a special election. The bill allows the
3 16 board to publish the notice in advance of a vacancy if the
3 17 officer or member of the board submits a resignation that will
3 18 take effect at a future date. The bill allows the board to
3 19 make an appointment after the notice is published or after the
3 20 vacancy occurs, whichever is later. The bill provides that the
3 21 appointment is considered temporary if a valid petition to call
3 22 a special election is filed with the secretary of the school
3 23 board within 14 days after publication of the notice or within
3 24 14 days after the appointment is made.
3 25 The bill provides that a valid petition must be signed by
3 26 at least 100 eligible electors or eligible electors equaling
3 27 at least 30 percent of the number of voters at the preceding
3 28 regular school election, whichever is greater.
3 29 The bill requires that a special election be called by the
3 30 school board upon the filing of a valid petition. The special
3 31 election shall be held in accordance with requirements under
3 32 current law for filling school district board vacancies. If
3 33 the board is reduced below a quorum, the secretary of the
3 34 board, or if there is no secretary, the area education agency
3 35 administrator, shall call a special election in the district,
4 1 subdistrict, or subdistricts, as the case may be, to fill the
4 2 vacancies.
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