Section 16-36-61


(a) Based upon the recommendations of the State Textbook Committee, the State Board of Education shall adopt textbooks from which local boards of education may adopt for use in their systems. Local boards of education shall not adopt textbooks nor expend public funds for textbooks that have been rejected by the State Board of Education, except for the length of an existing local contract approved by the state superintendent. Members of any local board found doing so shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500) and also may be imprisoned or sentenced to hard labor for a term not exceeding six months.

(b) The State Board of Education shall divide the subjects of study in the public schools so that all textbooks on a given subject for grades kindergarten through 12 shall be considered for adoption in one year. New adoptions made during any year shall not be used in the public schools until the next ensuing scholastic year.

(c) The adoption schedule for each subject area shall be determined by the State Superintendent of Education based on the courses of study development schedule, knowledge-base changes, financial considerations, the need for staggered adoption schedules, needs expressed by the local superintendents, contract expiration dates, and other factors deemed appropriate by the State Superintendent of Education.

(d) Prior to adoptions by the State Board of Education, members of the public shall be allowed a reasonable amount of time to be heard concerning any book recommended for adoption or rejection. Adoption or rejection, or both, of textbooks shall be made only at a public meeting of the State Board of Education. Notice of the time and place of the meeting of the State Board of Education to consider adoptions or rejections, or both, shall be given for at least 30 days, by notice to news media and by posting a notice on a bulletin board or in some other conspicuous place in the offices or public rooms of the State Department of Education.

(Act 98-320, p. 544, §2.)