1997 Regular Session
By: Representative Guice
House Bill 355
AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE SCHOOL DISTRICTS MEETING LEVEL 3, 4 OR 5 ACCREDITATION REQUIREMENTS TO EXERCISE HOME RULE AUTHORITY; TO EXCLUDE CERTAIN ACTIONS FROM SCHOOL DISTRICT HOME RULE AUTHORITY; TO REQUIRE THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION TO CERTIFY THE ELIGIBILITY OF SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO EXERCISE HOME RULE AUTHORITY; TO PROVIDE FOR THE REVOCATION OF HOME RULE AUTHORITY IN SCHOOL DISTRICTS FAILING TO MAINTAIN LEVEL 3, 4 OR 5 ACCREDITATION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) In addition to those powers granted by Section 37-7-301 and any other provisions of general law, the school board of any school district certified under subsection (3) of this section by the State Board of Education as having maintained Level 3, 4 or 5 accreditation for no less than two (2) consecutive school years may adopt any orders, rules or regulations with respect to the affairs, property and finances of that school district for which no specific provision has been made by general law and which are not inconsistent with the Mississippi Constitution of 1890, the Mississippi Code of 1972, or any order, rule or regulation of the State Board of Education; those school boards also may alter, modify and repeal such orders, rules or regulations. Except as otherwise provided in subsection (2) of this section, the powers granted to the school boards of school districts in this section are complete without the existence of or reference to any specific authority granted in any other statute or law of the State of Mississippi.
(2) This section shall not authorize the school board of any school district to take any of the following actions unless the action is authorized specifically by another statute or law of the State of Mississippi:
(a) Request the levying authority for the school district, as defined in Section 37-57-1, to levy taxes other than those authorized by statute or to increase the levy of any authorized tax beyond statutorily established limits;
(b) Issue bonds of any kind;
(c) Change the requirements, practices or procedures for the election or appointment of school board members or for filling vacancies in the school board;
(d) Change the composition of the school board;
(e) Change the procedures for the abolition of the school district, the alteration of district boundaries, or the consolidation of school districts;
(f) Use any school district funds, equipment, supplies or materials for any private purpose;
(g) Grant any donation; or
(h) Waive any compulsory standard for accreditation established by the State Board of Education or statute.
(3) (a) Beginning on July 1, 1997, the school board of any school district that has maintained Level 3, 4 or 5 accreditation for no less than two (2) consecutive school years may request that the State Board of Education certify its accreditation and determine whether or not that school board qualifies to exercise the powers granted in this section. If the State Board of Education determines that the district sufficiently has met the accreditation requirements, the State Board of Education shall issue a certificate to the school board declaring that the board may exercise the powers granted in this section. Certificates may be issued for the 1997-1998 school year by the State Board of Education to school districts requesting the certification which have met the accreditation requirements as of July 1, 1997.
(b) Each year, the State Board of Education shall review the accreditation level of each school district that has been issued a certificate under this subsection. If a school district fails to meet Level 3, 4 or 5 accreditation requirements for a period of time exceeding one (1) school year, the certificate shall be revoked and the school board in that district shall no longer have the authority to exercise the powers granted in this section.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.