Committee: Education PolicySponsor: Estes
Analyst: Daniel DavenportDate: 02/23/2021

FISCAL NOTE

House Bill 338 as introduced establishes a discipline procedure for members of local school boards, including removal from the board, for a board member accused of neglect of duty or willful misconduct. This bill allows the State Superintendent of Education to set annual training requirements for local board members with compensation being withheld until the board member satisfies the training requirement or a waiver is granted; and compensation shall be forfeited if a board member is out of compliance at the end of their term or service on the board. This bill provides that the State Superintendent of Education shall report any local board member that fails to complete the training requirements to the State Board of Education and post the names on the SDE website until the member is in compliance or a waiver is granted.

Further, this bill provides for a hearing process, when necessary, conducted by a peer review panel with panel members being appointed by each State Board of Education member from their state board district; and the State Superintendent of Education randomly select three pool members to consider the matter, excluding the panel member that resides in the same State Board of Education district as the subject board member. This bill provides that panel members shall be reimbursed for actual mileage and reasonable expenses which could increase the obligations of the State Department of Education by an undetermined amount dependent upon (1) the number of panel hearings conducted, and (2) the actual mileage and expenses incurred by each panel member. This bill allows the State Superintendent of Education to appoint an attorney experienced in education law to investigate and present evidence to the peer review panel. In addition, this bill provides that panel hearings are confidential until the matter is disposed of by the State Superintendent of Education or the State Board of Education; and a transcript or recording shall be prepared for panel hearings, which could increase the obligations of the State Department of Education by an undetermined amount dependent upon the number of panel hearings conducted.

Finally, this bill provides additional qualification requirements for election or appointment to a county or municipal board of education which includes meeting attendance prior to becoming a board member and approved board member training. This bill provides that the additional qualification requirements shall not apply to a member appointed to fill a vacancy.


 Terri Collins, Chair
Education Policy