Career technical boards of education are governed by the same statute on holding the organizational meeting in January as any other board of education, but the operation and timing of CTC organizational meetings is slightly different than local, exempted village, and city school districts.
The Ohio Revised Code states simply that career technical school districts must meet during the month of January (R.C. 3313.14). In practical terms, that directive is subject to ensuring that the career-technical meeting is held after the local and exempted village boards of education meet as the boards are swearing in new members and sometimes, depending on expiring terms of office, appointing seats to the career technical board of education.
Before being appointed to the CTC board, local and exempted village board members are reminded that they may not nominate or vote for themselves when it comes to appointment to the career technical board. This is because there is a monetary benefit associated with doing so, and the Ohio Ethics Commission has issued an informal opinion on this issue.
The law on appointments to a CTC school board provides for three-year terms of office, with the member boards of education making appointments at their organizational meetings to the CTC board, if there is a need for a new appointment. Appointments may be board members on the local member board or may be someone “who has experience or knowledge regarding the labor needs of the state and region with an understanding of the skills, training, and education needed for current and future employment opportunities in the state.” (R.C. 3311.19) Preference may be given to individuals who have served as members on a joint vocational school business advisory committee.
For the appointment to the career technical board, an affirmative vote of a majority of the full board is required. Terms of office for these appointments are usually for three (3) years, except when CTC member districts are even-numbered and the plan filed with ODE provides for a additional member to be appointed from the member districts on a rotating basis. Those additional rotating member’s terms are for one year. The CTC plan filed with the Ohio Department of Education will control on this issue.
New board members should receive a copy of the CTC plan document. The organizational meeting is a good time to refresh everyone on any particular provisions of the CTC plan with regard to appointing vacancies or other governance issues as part of onboarding training.
Once the organizational meeting convenes, the CTC board must do the actual organizational business of electing a president and vice-president of the board. Here, members may nominate (and vote for) themselves as they are already appointed to the CTC board.
A second is not required on a motion to nominate someone for board president or vice-president unless the district has a local rule requiring it. Seconding a motion to nominate someone is sometimes done ceremonially as well, but it is not required. The votes to appoint a president and vice-president require an affirmative votes of a majority of the full board, so it may necessary to caucus until such a majority may be obtained.
Questions have arisen regarding a situation when a CTC board member who is appointed from the local board loses their local board of education election, and whether those members may continue in their terms. Generally, once the appointment is made, that member may continue on in their three-year term of office on the CTC.
Other organizational business includes setting regular meetings for the year. All meetings set at the organizational meeting are regular meetings of the board, and there may be more than one regular meeting a month. Board of education are required to meet only once every two months by law. (R.C. 3313.15). CTC boards may also utilize special and emergency meetings.
If you have questions about the organizational meeting, its regular business, appointments or the Sunshine law and how it applies to your CTC, please contact your EB counsel.