There shall be a School Committee consisting of seven (7) members who shall be elected from the Town, one (1) from each of five (5) districts, and two (2) members-at-large, without any party marker designation upon the ballot, declaration of candidacy, nomination paper or petition, or list of candidates. Members who shall be elected to said committee shall serve four (4) year terms.
Term limits. Any person who is elected to the School Committee as a district or at-large candidate shall serve no more than two (2) four (4) year terms consecutively. Thereafter he or she shall be ineligible to serve as a district or at-large school committee position until the passage of four (4) years.
The term of four (4) years and maximum of two (2) consecutive terms shall not take effect until the election following the election year in which this amendment is approved by a majority of the qualified voters of the Town of Cumberland so voting on this amendment.
[Ref. of 11-2-2010; amended 11-6-2018]
Members of the School Committee shall be electors of the Town as well as the district in which he/she seeks election to the school committee and shall hold no other paid office or employment in the service of the Town. If a Committee member shall cease to possess these qualifications, his or her office shall immediately become vacant.
[Ref. of 11-2-2010]
Any vacancy in the membership of the School Committee shall be filled by written ballot of a majority of all the members of the Town Council for the remainder of the term of office, provided that the person selected to fill said vacancy shall be an elector from that district.
A vacancy in said membership of the School Committee shall occur if any of the conditions set forth in Sec. 1402 occurs or if a member dies; resigns from office; ceases to be a resident and/or elector of the district in which elected, or shall be absent for four (4) consecutive regular meetings or six (6) regular meetings within a twelve (12) month period unless said absence/s are excused by a majority vote of the whole School Committee.
Members of the School Committee shall receive such annual salaries or stipends as may be set by the School Committee, provided that any increase in pay shall not become effective during the term of office of any member of the School Committee at the time the motion for said increase was passed. Expenses incurred on official business, when authorized by the School Committee shall also be paid upon submission of an approved voucher.
The School Committee shall elect from its membership a Chairman and a Vice-Chairman, both of whom shall serve at the pleasure of the School Committee. The School Committee shall also appoint a Clerk who shall be a member of the School Committee and shall serve at the Committee's pleasure. The Chairman or the Clerk may sign any orders and official papers, and the Clerk under the direction of the School Committee, shall keep a journal of the proceedings of the Committee. The School Committee shall adopt its own rules and order [of] business.
The School Committee shall hold at least sixteen (16) regular meetings in every year at such time and place within the Town as the School Committee shall by general order fix and determine, pursuant to the applicable provision of State law.
[Ref. of 11-2-2010]
The School Committee shall determine and control all policies affecting the administration, maintenance and operation of the public schools and shall have all the powers and be subject to all duties prescribed by the laws of the State and may provide rules and regulations for the use, operation, and maintenance of public school properties, and for vacations of all officials and employees of the School Department.
The School Committee shall appoint, and establish the compensation of a Superintendent of Schools as its chief administrative agent, who shall have, under the direction of the School Committee, the care and supervision of the public schools. No person shall be employed as Superintendent of Schools unless such person holds a certificate of qualification issued by, or under the authority of, the State Board of Regents for Education. The Superintendent shall be subject to removal at the discretion of the School Committee by vote of a majority of all members of the School Committee, with a public hearing, if the Superintendent shall request the same. There shall be no right of appeal from the decision of the School Committee.
The appointment and removal of all school employees and fixing of salaries shall be made by the School Committee upon recommendation of the Superintendent of Schools, except as may be provided otherwise by the laws of the State. Except for the purpose of inquiry, the School Committee, as far as is consistent with the laws of the State, shall deal with the administration of the public schools solely through the Superintendent of Schools and neither the School Committee nor any member thereof shall give orders to any subordinate of the Superintendent of Schools, either publicly or privately. All details of administration shall be handled by the Superintendent or other administrative officers to whom he delegates the work.
The School Committee shall submit budget estimates in the same manner as other departments, and the budget estimates and appropriations shall be considered by the Finance Director. The allocation of the amounts appropriated shall be determined by the School Committee.
The Finance Department of the Town shall have the responsibility of maintaining records of all expenditures and obligations of funds by the School Department, of charging the same to the various line items in the school budget, and of keeping the school Department informed of the status of its various accounts.
The School Committee shall prepare a complete report of its finances and activities annually and make available for public inspection copies of the report at the offices of the School Committee and of the Town Clerk.
At the request of the School Committee the Mayor may direct appropriate departments under his or her jurisdiction and control to maintain, care for, or otherwise provide services for school buildings, grounds, motor vehicles and equipment, provided that the costs be charged against the appropriation for the public schools, such costs to be determined by the Mayor and paid at the direction of the School Committee.
The School Committee shall [have] the power to issue subpoenas to compel witnesses to testify and produce records as prescribed by State law.
The School Committee shall make the facilities under its jurisdiction available to the Town Recreation Commission for the use of said commission in its programs upon request, provided that the making available of such facilities, or of any specific facility, does not interfere with same scheduled use for school purposes, and provided further that the Recreation Commission shall reimburse the School Department for any costs incurred in the use of such facilities.
The School Committee shall exercise such other powers and perform such other duties as prescribed by State law and as are not inconsistent with this Charter.