Section 16-36-62

Local textbook committee.

(a) A local textbook committee or committees shall be appointed by each separate local board of education. The number, size, and composition, which shall include parents, of the committee or committees shall be determined by each local board of education. A copy of local school board policies in regard to local textbook committees shall be kept on file by each local superintendent. Names of each person serving on a local textbook committee shall also be kept on file by each local superintendent.

(b) In order to qualify as a member of the committee, each member of the local textbook committee and its secretary shall prepare an affidavit to be filed with the local board of education within 10 days after notice of the member's appointment stating each of the following:

(1) The member agrees to discharge faithfully all the duties imposed upon him or her as a member or as secretary of the textbook committee.

(2) The member has no interest, directly or indirectly, in any contract that may be made under this article for the purchase of textbooks.

(3) The member has no interest as author, as associate author, as publisher, or as a representative of the author or publisher of any textbooks.

(4) The member has no pecuniary interest, directly or indirectly, in the business or profits of any person, firm, or corporation engaged in manufacturing, publishing, or selling textbooks.

(5) The member agrees not to accept any emolument or promise of future reward of any kind from any publisher of textbooks, the publisher's agent, or anyone interested in or intending to bias the member's judgment in any way in the selection of any textbook for adoption.

(c) Members shall serve for terms of one year.

(d) The local textbook committee shall meet on call of the chairperson of the local board of education for the purpose of recommending textbooks to the local board of education from the list of adoptions by the State Board of Education or from a list submitted to the committee for consideration by the local superintendent or his or her designee, or from both lists. Textbooks which have been rejected by the State Board of Education shall not be considered for future adoption by the local board of education, except for the length of an existing local contract approved by the state superintendent. The recommendations of a local textbook committee shall be by majority vote for each textbook. No textbook shall be used in any public school of this state unless recommended by a local textbook committee and, upon the recommendation of a local superintendent, adopted by the local board of education.

(e) The adoption of a textbook by a local board of education shall be by majority vote of the local board of education and shall be for a period determined by the State Superintendent of Education. Not later than 30 days after the date of the local adoption, the local superintendent of education shall file a report with the State Superintendent of Education listing the title, the name of the author, the publisher, and the date of adoption of the textbook with verification to the state superintendent that all procedures described in subsection (d) have been followed. This procedure shall apply each time a textbook is adopted for use in a local school or school system.

(f) Publishers shall furnish samples of all state-adopted textbooks to each local board of education for evaluation by the local textbook committee. One copy of each textbook adopted by the local textbook committee shall be retained by the local board of education as an official sample. All samples not adopted by the local boards shall be returned to the publishers at the expense of the publishers, and samples of those books adopted shall become the property of the local boards of education. If the publisher fails to reclaim samples of nonadopted books within 90 days, the sample books shall become the property of the local board of education.

(g) Any textbook publisher that solicits a local textbook committee or local board to adopt their textbooks and has not participated in the state adoption process shall provide the reason for not participating in the state adoption process in writing to the local textbook committee and local board at the time of the solicitation. A copy of the document submitted to the local textbook committee and the local board of education shall also be sent to the State Superintendent of Education.

(h) Publishers shall be required to use a qualified depository in Alabama for distribution of state or local adopted textbooks if requested to do so by the local board of education and shall have a sufficient supply of the adopted textbooks on deposit at a qualified depository for distribution or sufficient ability to provide access to digital textbooks as ordered through a qualified depository. Nothing in this subsection shall preclude publishers from selling textbooks to the local board of education directly or through means other than a qualified depository for textbooks, but a publisher may not refuse to sell through a qualified depository. Regardless of whether a qualified depository is used in a transaction, the prices charged by a publisher shall not exceed the prices prescribed in subsection (c) of Section 16-36-64.

(Act 98-320, p. 544, §3; Act 2015-386, §1.)