2005 Regular Session
By: Representative Watson
AN ACT TO CODIFY SECTION 37-7-485, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO BE KNOWN AS THE "SCHOOL PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT ACT OF 2005"; TO AUTHORIZE SCHOOL BOARDS TO SELL, CONVEY OR EXCHANGE, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, A NONOPERATIONAL PROPERTY INTEREST IN PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS; TO AUTHORIZE A SCHOOL BOARD TO PLEDGE REVENUES RECEIVED UNDER SECTIONS 37-7-471 THROUGH 37-7-483, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, FOR THE REPAYMENT OF NOTES AND OTHER OBLIGATIONS; TO PROHIBIT ANY PERSON FROM BEING INVOLVED IN ANY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROJECT ENTERED INTO BY A SCHOOL BOARD WHERE RELATED BY CONSANGUINITY WITHIN THE THIRD DEGREE TO ANY MEMBER OF THE SCHOOL BOARD OR THE SUPERINTENDENT OR ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT; TO MANDATE THAT SCHOOL BOARDS USE SOUND BUSINESS PRACTICES WHEN EXECUTING SUCH AGREEMENTS; TO AUTHORIZE THE MISSISSIPPI DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OR THE LOCAL SCHOOL BOARD TO REQUIRE ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FROM INVESTORS IN ANY PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT; TO AUTHORIZE SCHOOL BOARDS TO AUTHORIZE THE INVESTMENT OF SCHOOL DISTRICT FUNDS IN THE SAME KIND DISTRICT FUNDS IN THE SAME KIND AND MANNER OF INVESTMENTS AS ANY OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION; TO AUTHORIZE THE SCHOOL BOARD TO RETAIN A SECURITY INTEREST IN ANY SUCH PROPERTY CONVEYED FOR DEVELOPMENT PURPOSES; TO LIMIT LIABILITY OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT TO THE VALUE OF THE PROPERTY INTEREST RETAINED BY THE SCHOOL BOARD; TO REQUIRE SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS TO CERTIFY THAT THEY ARE IN COMPLIANCE WITH SECTION 25-4-27 REGARDING FILING OF STATEMENTS OF ECONOMIC INTEREST WITH THE MISSISSIPPI ETHICS COMMISSION; TO AMEND SECTION 37-7-301, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE AN ADDITIONAL METHOD OF DISPOSING OF SURPLUS SCHOOL PROPERTY WHICH MAY PROMOTE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT WITHIN THE SCHOOL DISTRICT; TO ALLOW SCHOOL BOARDS TO CONTRACT WITH FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS TO ALLOW THE WITHHOLDING OF FUNDS BY STATE AGENCIES WITH RESPECT TO THE ISSUANCE OF BONDS, NOTES OR OTHER OBLIGATIONS, TO ALLOW THE WITHHOLDING OF FUNDS BY STATE AGENCIES IN THE EVENT OF DEFAULT BY A LOCAL SCHOOL BOARD; TO AUTHORIZE A SCHOOL BOARD TO ACCEPT THE SAME TYPE GOOD FAITH DEPOSIT OR BID BOND OR BID SURETY THAT MAY BE ACCEPTED BY THE STATE OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS; TO AMEND SECTION 37-7-471, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO ALLOW A SCHOOL DISTRICT TO RETAIN AN UNDIVIDED INTEREST IN PROPERTY DISPOSED BY THE SCHOOL BOARD IF IT MAY YIELD A HIGHER LONG-TERM ECONOMIC BENEFIT; TO AMEND SECTION 37-7-473, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO ALLOW SCHOOL PROPERTY TO BE USED AS PART OF DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES; TO AMEND SECTION 37-7-475, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO ALLOW CONVEYANCES TO INCLUDE A RETENTION OF A PARTIAL INTEREST BY THE SCHOOL BOARD; TO AMEND SECTION 37-7-477, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO MAKE REVERSION OF INTERESTS DISCRETIONARY IF THE SCHOOL BOARD RETAINS A PARTIAL INTEREST IN THE PROPERTY; TO AMEND SECTION 37-7-479, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT A REVERTER IS DISCRETIONARY IF THE SCHOOL BOARD RETAINS A PARTIAL INTEREST IN THE PROPERTY; TO AMEND SECTION 37-7-481, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO ALLOW SCHOOL BOARDS TO CONTRACT WITH OTHER GOVERNMENTAL ENTITIES; TO AMEND SECTION 37-7-483, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CLARIFY LEGISLATIVE INTENT WITH RESPECT TO DEVELOPMENT OF SCHOOL PROPERTY; TO PROVIDE THAT NO PERSON, AGENT, SUBSIDIARY OR PARENT CORPORATION OR FIRM OWNED IN WHOLE OR IN PART BY THE PERSON, SHALL BE ELIGIBLE TO BID IN THE CONSTRUCTION ON ANY PROJECT FOR WHICH THE PERSON HAS BEEN HIRED TO PERFORM CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM MANAGEMENT SERVICES; TO AMEND SECTION 27-65-105, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO EXEMPT SALES TO REGIONAL EDUCATIONAL SERVICE AGENCIES FROM SALES TAXATION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The following provision shall be codified as Section 37-7-485, Mississippi Code of 1972:
37-7-485. (1) This section shall be referred to as the "School Property Development Act of 2005." It is the intent of the Legislature that this section shall provide school boards with an alternative optional method of disposal of surplus school property that may generate greater returns to the district than a public disposal sale, or to promote or stimulate economic development within the school district or to promote, stabilize or enhance property and tax values within the school district.
(2) The school board of any school district shall be authorized and empowered, in its discretion, to sell, convey or exchange a partial interest, undivided interest or any other interest in real property (other than sixteenth section public school trust land), in whole or in part, for a nonoperational interest in any proposed development of the property, including ownership of shares of a domestic corporation or a membership interest in a limited liability company or a limited partnership interest, any of which is organized for the operation of any project, development or activity that, in the discretion of the school board, will have the potential for fostering economic development activities, increasing property values, increasing student development or enhancing public safety. A school district may pledge any revenues it is to receive from such sale, conveyance or exchange, including any shares of a corporation or membership interest in a limited liability company or limited partnership interest under this subsection or under Sections 37-7-471 through 37-7-483, to secure the repayment of any notes, leases (excluding leases of sixteenth section public school trust land), bonds or other written obligations of the district issued under any provision of state law. Any such pledge of revenues or other monies shall be valid and binding from the date the pledge is made; such revenues or other monies so pledged and thereafter received by the school district shall immediately be subject to the lien of such pledge without any physical delivery thereof or further act, and the lien of any such pledge shall be valid and binding as against all parties having claims of any kind in tort, contract or otherwise against the school district irrespective of whether such parties have notice thereof. Neither the resolutions, contracts or any other instrument by which a pledge is created need be recorded. Any debt secured in whole or in part by a pledge of such revenues or other monies shall not be subject to or included in any debt limitation imposed on the issuance of such debt. This subsection (2) shall not be construed to apply to sixteenth section public school trust land.
(3) The school board shall use sound business practices when executing exchanges as provided in this section. The school board may utilize the services of the Mississippi Development Authority, the local planning and development district or the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning when executing exchanges as provided in this section. The local school board shall require, in any project exceeding Two Hundred Thousand Dollars ($200,000.00) that the party with whom the school board is contracting shall provide the following information, at a minimum:
(a) A two-year business plan (which shall include pro forma balance sheets, income statements and monthly cash flow statements);
(b) Financial statements and tax returns for the three (3) years immediately prior to the date the contract is formed;
(c) Credit reports on all persons or entities with a twenty percent (20%) or greater interest in the entity;
(d) Data supporting the expertise of the entity's principals;
(e) A cost benefit analysis of the project performed by the Mississippi Development Authority, a state institution of higher learning or other entity selected by the local school board; and
(f) Any other information required by the local school board.
This subsection (3) shall not be construed to apply to sixteenth section public school trust land.
(4) The local school board shall make public record any final and signed contract created under this section.
(5) No person involved in any economic development project entered into by a school board under the provisions of this section shall be related by consanguinity or affinity within the third degree to any member of the school board or the superintendent or any assistant superintendent of the school district, nor shall any such person have an interest in any business or have an economic relationship with any member of the school board or the superintendent or any assistant superintendent of the school district.
(6) No person, or any agent, subsidiary or parent corporation or firm owned in whole or in part by the person shall be eligible to bid or otherwise participate in the construction, contracting, or subcontracting on any project or part thereof for which the person has been hired to perform construction program management services. Any contract for public construction that violates this provision shall be void and against the public policy of the state. For purposes of this subsection, the term "construction program management services" means a set of management and technical services rendered by a person or firm to a public sector building owner during the predesign, design, construction, or post-construction phases of new construction, demolition, alteration, repair, or renovation projects. These services include any one or more of the following: project planning, budgeting, scheduling, coordination, design management, construction administration, or facility occupancy actions, but shall not include any component of the actual construction work. The term does not include the services performed by the general contractor who is engaged to perform the construction work, or services customarily performed by licensed architects or registered engineers.
(7) This section shall be supplemental and additional to any powers conferred by other laws on school districts. However, this act shall not grant any authority to a school board to issue debt in any amount that is not otherwise expressly provided for by law, and shall not grant any authority to impose, levy or collect any tax that is not otherwise expressly provided for by law.
(8) If a school board exercises its option to enter into a development agreement or other contract under this act or to transfer any property or interest therein to a third party for purposes of future development, the following conditions shall apply:
(a) The board shall have the express authority to retain a deed of trust or such other security interest in the property in an amount equal at least to the value of the property at the time of such transfer, less any consideration paid by the developer or other parties;
(b) The liability of the school board and the school district under any such development agreement shall be limited to the value of any retained property interest in the development agreement or the property that is the subject of the development agreement. Neither the school board nor the district shall be liable to any party nor shall it indemnify or hold harmless any party for any liabilities, obligations, losses, damages, penalties, settlements, claims, actions, suits, proceedings or judgments of any kind and nature, costs, expenses, or attorney's fees incurred by such party or parties for any act or action arising out of, or in connection with any development agreement entered into by the school board, other than the value of the retained ownership interest in the property that was conveyed under such development agreement.
(9) Before entering into any transaction as provided in this section, the school board members shall certify that they are in compliance with Section 25-4-25 regarding filings of statements of economic interest with the Mississippi Ethics Commission and that they will receive no direct or indirect pecuniary benefit as a result of the transaction or be in violation of the provisions of Section 25-4-105 regarding the improper use of official position.
(10) Any agreement under this section shall be executed on or before July 1, 2009.
SECTION 2. Section 37-7-301, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-7-301. The school boards of all school districts shall have the following powers, authority and duties in addition to all others imposed or granted by law, to wit:
(a) To organize and operate the schools of the district and to make such division between the high school grades and elementary grades as, in their judgment, will serve the best interests of the school;
(b) To introduce public school music, art, manual training and other special subjects into either the elementary or high school grades, as the board shall deem proper;
(c) To be the custodians of real and personal school property and to manage, control and care for same, both during the school term and during vacation;
(d) To have responsibility for the erection, repairing and equipping of school facilities and the making of necessary school improvements;
(e) To suspend or to expel a pupil or to change the placement of a pupil to the school district's alternative school or home-bound program for misconduct in the school or on school property, as defined in Section 37-11-29, on the road to and from school, or at any school-related activity or event, or for conduct occurring on property other than school property or other than at a school-related activity or event when such conduct by a pupil, in the determination of the school superintendent or principal, renders that pupil's presence in the classroom a disruption to the educational environment of the school or a detriment to the best interest and welfare of the pupils and teacher of such class as a whole, and to delegate such authority to the appropriate officials of the school district;
(f) To visit schools in the district, in their discretion, in a body for the purpose of determining what can be done for the improvement of the school in a general way;
(g) To support, within reasonable limits, the superintendent, principal and teachers where necessary for the proper discipline of the school;
(h) To exclude from the schools students with what appears to be infectious or contagious diseases; provided, however, such student may be allowed to return to school upon presenting a certificate from a public health officer, duly licensed physician or nurse practitioner that the student is free from such disease;
(i) To require those vaccinations specified by the State Health Officer as provided in Section 41-23-37, Mississippi Code of 1972;
(j) To see that all necessary utilities and services are provided in the schools at all times when same are needed;
(k) To authorize the use of the school buildings and grounds for the holding of public meetings and gatherings of the people under such regulations as may be prescribed by said board;
(l) To prescribe and enforce rules and regulations not inconsistent with law or with the regulations of the State Board of Education for their own government and for the government of the schools, and to transact their business at regular and special meetings called and held in the manner provided by law;
(m) To maintain and operate all of the schools under their control for such length of time during the year as may be required;
(n) To enforce in the schools the courses of study and the use of the textbooks prescribed by the proper authorities;
(o) To make orders directed to the superintendent of schools for the issuance of pay certificates for lawful purposes on any available funds of the district and to have full control of the receipt, distribution, allotment and disbursement of all funds provided for the support and operation of the schools of such school district whether such funds be derived from state appropriations, local ad valorem tax collections, or otherwise;
(p) To select all school district personnel in the manner provided by law, and to provide for such employee fringe benefit programs, including accident reimbursement plans, as may be deemed necessary and appropriate by the board;
(q) To provide athletic programs and other school activities and to regulate the establishment and operation of such programs and activities;
(r) To join, in their discretion, any association of school boards and other public school-related organizations, and to pay from local funds other than minimum foundation funds, any membership dues;
(s) To expend local school activity funds, or other available school district funds, other than minimum education program funds, for the purposes prescribed under this paragraph. "Activity funds" shall mean all funds received by school officials in all school districts paid or collected to participate in any school activity, such activity being part of the school program and partially financed with public funds or supplemented by public funds. The term "activity funds" shall not include any funds raised and/or expended by any organization unless commingled in a bank account with existing activity funds, regardless of whether the funds were raised by school employees or received by school employees during school hours or using school facilities, and regardless of whether a school employee exercises influence over the expenditure or disposition of such funds. Organizations shall not be required to make any payment to any school for the use of any school facility if, in the discretion of the local school governing board, the organization's function shall be deemed to be beneficial to the official or extracurricular programs of the school. For the purposes of this provision, the term "organization" shall not include any organization subject to the control of the local school governing board. Activity funds may only be expended for any necessary expenses or travel costs, including advances, incurred by students and their chaperons in attending any in-state or out-of-state school-related programs, conventions or seminars and/or any commodities, equipment, travel expenses, purchased services or school supplies which the local school governing board, in its discretion, shall deem beneficial to the official or extracurricular programs of the district, including items which may subsequently become the personal property of individuals, including yearbooks, athletic apparel, book covers and trophies. Activity funds may be used to pay travel expenses of school district personnel. The local school governing board shall be authorized and empowered to promulgate rules and regulations specifically designating for what purposes school activity funds may be expended. The local school governing board shall provide (i) that such school activity funds shall be maintained and expended by the principal of the school generating the funds in individual bank accounts, or (ii) that such school activity funds shall be maintained and expended by the superintendent of schools in a central depository approved by the board. The local school governing board shall provide that such school activity funds be audited as part of the annual audit required in Section 37-9-18. The State Auditor shall prescribe a uniform system of accounting and financial reporting for all school activity fund transactions;
(t) To contract, on a shared savings, lease or lease-purchase basis, for energy efficiency services and/or equipment as provided for in Section 31-7-14, not to exceed ten (10) years;
(u) To maintain accounts and issue pay certificates on school food service bank accounts;
(v) (i) To lease a school building from an individual, partnership, nonprofit corporation or a private for-profit corporation for the use of such school district, and to expend funds therefor as may be available from any nonminimum program sources. The school board of the school district desiring to lease a school building shall declare by resolution that a need exists for a school building and that the school district cannot provide the necessary funds to pay the cost or its proportionate share of the cost of a school building required to meet the present needs. The resolution so adopted by the school board shall be published once each week for three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper having a general circulation in the school district involved, with the first publication thereof to be made not less than thirty (30) days prior to the date upon which the school board is to act on the question of leasing a school building. If no petition requesting an election is filed prior to such meeting as hereinafter provided, then the school board may, by resolution spread upon its minutes, proceed to lease a school building. If at any time prior to said meeting a petition signed by not less than twenty percent (20%) or fifteen hundred (1500), whichever is less, of the qualified electors of the school district involved shall be filed with the school board requesting that an election be called on the question, then the school board shall, not later than the next regular meeting, adopt a resolution calling an election to be held within such school district upon the question of authorizing the school board to lease a school building. Such election shall be called and held, and notice thereof shall be given, in the same manner for elections upon the questions of the issuance of the bonds of school districts, and the results thereof shall be certified to the school board. If at least three-fifths (3/5) of the qualified electors of the school district who voted in such election shall vote in favor of the leasing of a school building, then the school board shall proceed to lease a school building. The term of the lease contract shall not exceed twenty (20) years, and the total cost of such lease shall be either the amount of the lowest and best bid accepted by the school board after advertisement for bids or an amount not to exceed the current fair market value of the lease as determined by the averaging of at least two (2) appraisals by certified general appraisers licensed by the State of Mississippi. The term "school building" as used in this item (v) shall be construed to mean any building or buildings used for classroom purposes in connection with the operation of schools and shall include the site therefor, necessary support facilities, and the equipment thereof and appurtenances thereto such as heating facilities, water supply, sewage disposal, landscaping, walks, drives and playgrounds. The term "lease" as used in this item (v)(i) may include a lease/purchase contract;
(ii) If two (2) or more school districts propose to enter into a lease contract jointly, then joint meetings of the school boards having control may be held but no action taken shall be binding on any such school district unless the question of leasing a school building is approved in each participating school district under the procedure hereinabove set forth in item (v)(i). All of the provisions of item (v)(i) regarding the term and amount of the lease contract shall apply to the school boards of school districts acting jointly. Any lease contract executed by two (2) or more school districts as joint lessees shall set out the amount of the aggregate lease rental to be paid by each, which may be agreed upon, but there shall be no right of occupancy by any lessee unless the aggregate rental is paid as stipulated in the lease contract. All rights of joint lessees under the lease contract shall be in proportion to the amount of lease rental paid by each;
(w) To employ all noninstructional and noncertificated employees and fix the duties and compensation of such personnel deemed necessary pursuant to the recommendation of the superintendent of schools;
(x) To employ and fix the duties and compensation of such legal counsel as deemed necessary;
(y) Subject to rules and regulations of the State Board of Education, to purchase, own and operate trucks, vans and other motor vehicles, which shall bear the proper identification required by law;
(z) To expend funds for the payment of substitute teachers and to adopt reasonable regulations for the employment and compensation of such substitute teachers;
(aa) To acquire in its own name by purchase all real property which shall be necessary and desirable in connection with the construction, renovation or improvement of any public school building or structure. Whenever the purchase price for such real property is greater than Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00), the school board shall not purchase the property for an amount exceeding the fair market value of such property as determined by the average of at least two (2) independent appraisals by certified general appraisers licensed by the State of Mississippi. If the board shall be unable to agree with the owner of any such real property in connection with any such project, the board shall have the power and authority to acquire any such real property by condemnation proceedings pursuant to Section 11-27-1 et seq., Mississippi Code of 1972, and for such purpose, the right of eminent domain is hereby conferred upon and vested in said board. Provided further, that the local school board is authorized to grant an easement for ingress and egress over sixteenth section land or lieu land in exchange for a similar easement upon adjoining land where the exchange of easements affords substantial benefit to the sixteenth section land; provided, however, the exchange must be based upon values as determined by a competent appraiser, with any differential in value to be adjusted by cash payment. Any easement rights granted over sixteenth section land under such authority shall terminate when the easement ceases to be used for its stated purpose. No sixteenth section or lieu land which is subject to an existing lease shall be burdened by any such easement except by consent of the lessee or unless the school district shall acquire the unexpired leasehold interest affected by the easement;
(bb) To charge reasonable fees related to the educational programs of the district, in the manner prescribed in Section 37-7-335;
(cc) Subject to rules and regulations of the State Board of Education, to purchase relocatable classrooms for the use of such school district, in the manner prescribed in Section 37-1-13;
(dd) Enter into contracts or agreements with other school districts, political subdivisions or governmental entities to carry out one or more of the powers or duties of the school board, or to allow more efficient utilization of limited resources for providing services to the public;
(ee) To provide for in-service training for employees of the district. Until June 30, 1994, the school boards may designate two (2) days of the minimum school term, as defined in Section 37-19-1, for employee in-service training for implementation of the new statewide testing system as developed by the State Board of Education. Such designation shall be subject to approval by the State Board of Education pursuant to uniform rules and regulations;
(ff) As part of their duties to prescribe the use of textbooks, to provide that parents and legal guardians shall be responsible for the textbooks and for the compensation to the school district for any books which are not returned to the proper schools upon the withdrawal of their dependent child. If a textbook is lost or not returned by any student who drops out of the public school district, the parent or legal guardian shall also compensate the school district for the fair market value of the textbooks;
(gg) To conduct fund-raising activities on behalf of the school district that the local school board, in its discretion, deems appropriate or beneficial to the official or extracurricular programs of the district; provided that:
(i) Any proceeds of the fund-raising activities shall be treated as "activity funds" and shall be accounted for as are other activity funds under this section; and
(ii) Fund-raising activities conducted or authorized by the board for the sale of school pictures, the rental of caps and gowns or the sale of graduation invitations for which the school board receives a commission, rebate or fee shall contain a disclosure statement advising that a portion of the proceeds of the sales or rentals shall be contributed to the student activity fund;
(hh) To allow individual lessons for music, art and other curriculum-related activities for academic credit or nonacademic credit during school hours and using school equipment and facilities, subject to uniform rules and regulations adopted by the school board;
(ii) To charge reasonable fees for participating in an extracurricular activity for academic or nonacademic credit for necessary and required equipment such as safety equipment, band instruments and uniforms;
(jj) To conduct or participate in any fund-raising activities on behalf of or in connection with a tax-exempt charitable organization;
(kk) To exercise such powers as may be reasonably necessary to carry out the provisions of this section;
(ll) To expend funds for the services of nonprofit arts organizations or other such nonprofit organizations who provide performances or other services for the students of the school district;
(mm) To expend federal No Child Left Behind Act funds, or any other available funds that are expressly designated and authorized for that use, to pay training, educational expenses, salary incentives and salary supplements to employees of local school districts; except that incentives shall not be considered part of the local supplement as defined in Section 37-151-5(o), nor shall incentives be considered part of the local supplement paid to an individual teacher for the purposes of Section 37-19-7(1). Mississippi Adequate Education Program funds or any other state funds may not be used for salary incentives or salary supplements as provided in this paragraph (mm);
(nn) To use any available funds, not appropriated or designated for any other purpose, for reimbursement to the state-licensed employees from both in-state and out-of-state, who enter into a contract for employment in a school district, for the expense of moving when the employment necessitates the relocation of the licensed employee to a different geographical area than that in which the licensed employee resides before entering into the contract. The reimbursement shall not exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) for the documented actual expenses incurred in the course of relocating, including the expense of any professional moving company or persons employed to assist with the move, rented moving vehicles or equipment, mileage in the amount authorized for county and municipal employees under Section 25-3-41 if the licensed employee used his personal vehicle or vehicles for the move, meals and such other expenses associated with the relocation. No licensed employee may be reimbursed for moving expenses under this section on more than one (1) occasion by the same school district. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the actual residence to which the licensed employee relocates to be within the boundaries of the school district that has executed a contract for employment in order for the licensed employee to be eligible for reimbursement for the moving expenses. However, the licensed employee must relocate within the boundaries of the State of Mississippi. Any individual receiving relocation assistance through the Critical Teacher Shortage Act as provided in Section 37-159-5 shall not be eligible to receive additional relocation funds as authorized in this paragraph;
(oo) To use any available funds, not appropriated or designated for any other purpose, to reimburse persons who interview for employment as a licensed employee with the district for the mileage and other actual expenses incurred in the course of travel to and from the interview at the rate authorized for county and municipal employees under Section 25-3-41;
(pp) Consistent with the report of the Task Force to Conduct a Best Financial Management Practices Review, to improve school district management and use of resources and identify cost savings as established in Section 8 of Chapter 610, Laws of 2002, local school boards are encouraged to conduct independent reviews of the management and efficiency of schools and school districts. Such management and efficiency reviews shall provide state and local officials and the public with the following:
(i) An assessment of a school district's governance and organizational structure;
(ii) An assessment of the school district's financial and personnel management;
(iii) An assessment of revenue levels and sources;
(iv) An assessment of facilities utilization, planning and maintenance;
(v) An assessment of food services, transportation and safety/security systems;
(vi) An assessment of instructional and administrative technology;
(vii) A review of the instructional management and the efficiency and effectiveness of existing instructional programs; and
(viii) Recommended methods for increasing efficiency and effectiveness in providing educational services to the public;
(qq) To enter into agreements with other local school boards for the establishment of an educational service agency (ESA) to provide for the cooperative needs of the region in which the school district is located, as provided in Section 37-7-345. This paragraph shall repeal on July 1, 2007;
(rr) To implement a financial literacy program for students in Grades 10 and 11. The board may review the national programs and obtain free literature from various nationally recognized programs. After review of the different programs, the board may certify a program that is most appropriate for the school districts' needs. If a district implements a financial literacy program, then any student in Grade 10 or 11 may participate in the program. The financial literacy program shall include, but is not limited to, instruction in the same areas of personal business and finance as required under Section 37-1-3(2)(b). The school board may coordinate with volunteer teachers from local community organizations, including, but not limited to, the following: United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Junior Achievement, bankers and other nonprofit organizations. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as to require school boards to implement a financial literacy program;
(ss) To collaborate with the State Board of Education, Community Action Agencies or the Department of Human Services to develop and implement a voluntary program to provide services for a full day prekindergarten program that addresses the cognitive, social, and emotional needs of four-year-old and three-year-old children. The school board may utilize nonstate source special funds, grants, donations or gifts to fund the voluntary program;
(tt) With respect to any lawful, written obligation of a school district, including, but not limited to, leases (excluding leases of sixteenth section public school trust land), bonds, notes, or other agreement, to agree in writing with the obligee that the State Tax Commission or any state agency, department or commission created under state law may:
(i) Withhold all or any part (as agreed by the school board) of any monies which such local school board is entitled to receive from time to time under any law and which is in the possession of the State Tax Commission, or any state agency, department or commission created under state law; and
(ii) Pay the same over to any financial institution, trustee or other obligee, as directed in writing by the school board, to satisfy all or part of such obligation of the school district.
The school board may make such written agreement to withhold and transfer funds irrevocable for the term of the written obligation and may include in the written agreement any other terms and provisions acceptable to the school board. If the school board files a copy of such written agreement with the State Tax Commission, or any state agency, department or commission created under state law then the State Tax Commission or any state agency, department or commission created under state law shall immediately make the withholdings provided in such agreement from the amounts due the local school board and shall continue to pay the same over to such financial institution, trustee or obligee for the term of the agreement.
This paragraph (tt) shall not grant any extra authority to a school board to issue debt in any amount exceeding statutory limitations on assessed value of taxable property within such school district or the statutory limitations on debt maturities, and shall not grant any extra authority to impose, levy or collect a tax which is not otherwise expressly provided for, and shall not be construed to apply to sixteenth section public school trust land.
(uu) With respect to any matter or transaction that is competitively bid by a school district, to accept from any bidder as a good faith deposit or bid bond or bid surety, the same type of good faith deposit or bid bond or bid surety that may be accepted by the state or any other political subdivision on similar competitively bid matters or transactions. This subsection (uu) shall not be construed to apply to sixteenth section public school trust land. The school board may authorize the investment of any school district funds in the same kind and manner of investments, including pooled investments, as any other political subdivision, including community hospitals; and
(vv) To utilize the alternate method for the conveyance or exchange of unused school buildings and/or land, reserving a partial or other undivided interest in the property, as specifically authorized and provided in Section 37-7-485, Mississippi Code of 1972.
SECTION 3. Section 37-7-471, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-7-471. Whenever the school board of any school district shall find and determine, by resolution duly and lawfully adopted and spread upon its minutes:
(a) That any school building, land, property or other school facility is no longer needed for school or related purposes and is not to be used in the operation of the schools of the district, or that such school building, land, property or other school facility may yield a higher long-term economic value to the district, in the discretion of the local school board;
(b) That the sale of the property in the manner otherwise provided by law is not necessary or desirable for the financial welfare of the school district; and
(c) That the use of the school building, land, property or other school facility for the purpose for which it is to be sold, conveyed or leased will promote and foster the development and improvement of the community in which it is located and the civic, social, educational, cultural, moral, economic or industrial welfare thereof, the school board of such school district shall be authorized and empowered, in its discretion, and upon the terms and conditions set forth in Section 37-7-477, to sell, convey, lease or otherwise dispose of same for any of the purposes set forth herein. Such sale, conveyance, lease or other disposition, including retention of partial interest, or undivided interest or other ownership interest, shall be made upon such terms and conditions and for such consideration, nominal or otherwise, as the school board may, in its discretion, deem proper in consideration of the benefits which will inure to the school district or the community in which the school building, property or other facility is located by the use thereof for the purpose for which it is to be sold, conveyed, leased or otherwise disposed of. The authority conferred by Sections 37-7-471 through 37-7-483 may be exercised by a school board in the sale, conveyance or lease of relocatable classrooms to the school board of another school district. Said sections without reference to another statute shall be deemed full and complete power for the exercise of the authority conferred hereby.
SECTION 4. Section 37-7-473, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-7-473. School buildings, land, property and related facilities may be sold, conveyed, leased or otherwise disposed of under Sections 37-7-471 through 37-7-483, to any group of persons, to any association, club or corporation, or to any county, municipality or other political subdivision, to be used as a civic, community, recreational or youth center, or to be used by any county or district fair association in connection with its activities, or to be used for church purposes, or to be used as a library or other public building, or to be used as a factory or otherwise in connection with an industrial enterprise, or to be used as part of a development activity to stimulate economic development activities within the district, or to enhance property values within the district, or to be used for any similar or related purpose or activity.
SECTION 5. Section 37-7-475, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-7-475. Upon being authorized by a resolution of the school board as is provided by Section 37-7-471, the president and secretary shall be authorized and empowered to execute, for and on behalf of the school district, a conveyance or lease of the property for the purposes, upon the terms and conditions, and for the consideration provided and specified by the school board, including retention of a partial interest, or undivided interest or other ownership interest in the property, in the discretion of the school board. It shall not be necessary or requisite that competitive bids be advertised for or received in connection with such sale, conveyance, leasing or other disposition of property.
SECTION 6. Section 37-7-477, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-7-477. Unless a school board retains a partial interest, or undivided interest or other ownership interest in the school property being conveyed, any instrument conveying or leasing any school property under the provisions of Sections 37-7-471 through 37-7-483, shall provide that the title to such property shall automatically revert to the school district, if such property shall cease to be used for the purpose for which it is conveyed or leased. Said instrument shall also contain the condition that the grantee or lessee shall keep and maintain said property in a good state of repair and shall keep said property insured in a reasonable amount against loss by fire, windstorm and other hazards. Upon breach of any of said conditions, the school board shall have the right of reentry upon said property as for condition broken and shall have the power and authority to bring and maintain such actions as shall be necessary and appropriate for such purpose in its own name. However, the provisions of this section shall not be mandatory in the event that the school board retains a partial interest, or undivided interest or other ownership interest in the school property being conveyed.
SECTION 7. Section 37-7-479, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-7-479. Any group of persons, any association, club or corporation, or any county, municipality or other political subdivision having acquired school buildings, land, property or related facilities under the provisions of Sections 37-7-471 through 37-7-483, may, by resolution duly adopted at a regular or special meeting called and convened for such purpose, determine that such school buildings, land, property or related facilities, or any portion thereof, are no longer needed or used for the purpose for which such was acquired, and may by such resolution provide for the sale of such school buildings, land, property or related facilities, or any portion thereof. Said resolution shall be forwarded to the school board of the school district involved, and if the said board shall adopt a resolution determining that such school buildings, land, property or related facilities, or such portion thereof as is sought to be sold, is no longer needed or used by the school district involved, then such school buildings, land, property or related facilities, or any portion thereof, may be sold in accordance with the procedure set forth in Section 37-7-455.
The school board of such district shall by order entered on its minutes, provide for the distribution of the proceeds received from the sale of such property in such proportions as the said school board may, in its discretion, determine reasonable as the interests may appear between the district and the group of persons, association, club, corporation, county, municipality or other political subdivision having an interest in such property at the time of such sale.
However, the provisions of this section shall not be mandatory if the school board retains a partial interest, or undivided interest or other ownership interest in the school property being conveyed.
SECTION 8. Section 37-7-481, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-7-481. The authority conferred by Sections 37-7-471 through 37-7-483 may be exercised by the existing school board of any school district in which any such school building, land, property or other school facility is located or situated. Such school board may contract with any other school board, or any other governmental entity, to assign and transfer its rights and duties under this chapter, under such terms and conditions as the school board may determine, in its discretion, to further the public interest. The sections, without reference to any other statute, shall be deemed full, complete and exclusive power for the exercise of the authority conferred hereby.
SECTION 9. Section 37-7-483, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-7-483. The Legislature hereby declares that it is its intention and purpose to authorize and permit each and every type of disposition of property permitted in Sections 37-7-471 through 37-7-481 and by each and every type of transfer mentioned, and by every combination possible thereunder.
Said sections shall be construed to be supplemental to Sections 37-7-451 through 37-7-457 and Sections 37-7-501 through 37-7-511, and to all other statutes dealing with the subject matter thereof, and shall be deemed to provide a supplemental, additional and alternate method for the disposition of school buildings, land, property and other school facilities which are no longer to be used for school purposes and are not needed in the operation of the schools of the district or for the conveyance of a partial ownership interest or for exchange, sale or conveyance of an undivided interest in school buildings, land, property or other school facilities that may yield a long-term economic value to the district, in the discretion of the local school board, based on an objective cost/benefit analysis as to whether the proposal shall maximize the interest of the taxpayers.
SECTION 10. Section 27-65-105, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
27-65-105. The exemption from the provisions of this chapter which are of a governmental nature or which are more properly classified as governmental exemptions than any other exemption classification of this chapter shall be confined to those persons or property exempted by this section or by provisions of the Constitutions of the United States or the State of Mississippi. No governmental exemption as now provided by any other section shall be valid as against the tax herein levied. Any subsequent governmental exemption from the tax levied hereunder shall be provided by amendment to this section.
No exemption provided in this section shall apply to taxes levied by Section 27-65-15 or 27-65-21, Mississippi Code of 1972, except as provided by subsection (f) of this section.
The tax levied by this chapter shall not apply to the following:
(a) Sales of property, labor or services taxable under Sections 27-65-17, 27-65-19 and 27-65-23, when sold to and billed directly to and payment therefor is made directly by the United States government, the State of Mississippi and its departments, institutions, counties and municipalities or departments or school districts of said counties and municipalities.
The exemption from the tax imposed under this chapter shall not apply to sales of tangible personal property, labor or services to contractors purchasing in the performance of contracts with the United States, the State of Mississippi, counties and municipalities.
(b) Sales to schools, when such schools are supported wholly or in part by funds provided by the State of Mississippi, provided that this exemption does not apply to sales of property which is not to be used in the ordinary operation of the school, or which is to be resold to the students or the public.
(c) Amounts received from the sale of school textbooks to students.
(d) Sales to the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, but not to Indians individually.
(e) Sales of fire fighting equipment to governmental fire departments or volunteer fire departments for their use.
(f) Sales of any gas from any project, as defined in the Municipal Gas Authority of Mississippi Law, to any municipality shall not be subject to sales, use or other tax.
(g) Sales of home medical equipment and home medical supplies listed as eligible for payment under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act or under the state plan for medical assistance under Title XIX of the Social Security Act, prosthetics, orthotics, hearing aids, hearing devices, prescription eyeglasses, oxygen and oxygen equipment, when ordered or prescribed by a licensed physician for medical purposes of a patient, and when payment for such equipment or supplies, or both, is made under the provisions of the Medicare or Medicaid program. This exemption shall only apply to the portion of the sales price of such equipment or supplies, or both, paid for under the provisions of the Medicare or Medicaid program.
(h) Sales to regional educational service agencies established under Section 37-7-345.
SECTION 11. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.