District Policies

The Board of Education has completed a detailed and thorough review of all District policies with guidance from the New York State School Boards Association Policy Unit. The updated Policies are now available online through a searchable platform by clicking on the link below.

SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS POLICIES

2120 SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS

The elections of members of the Board of Education shall be held on the third Tuesday in May, unless this date conflicts with religious observances on that day, and the Board requests that the Commissioner approve changing the election date to the second Tuesday in May. The polls shall be open for the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. The following items shall be voted upon:

1. the annual budget,

2. any vacancies on the Board of Education, and

3. any special propositions that have been properly presented.

Electioneering during the hours of any vote is prohibited within the polling place or within 100 feet of any such polling place. Electioneering includes the display or distribution of any banner, poster, placard, button, or flyer, on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate or issue to be voted upon.

Cross-ref:

1050, Annual Election and Budget Vote

Ref:

Education Law §§2012; 2013; 2014; 2018; 2018-a; 2019-a; 2031; 2035

Adoption date: June 9, 2014

Amended date: September 18, 2017

2120.1 CANDIDATE PROCEDURES

Nominations

Candidates for the office of member of the Board of Education shall be nominated by petition. Such petition shall be directed to the District Clerk, shall contain the signatures and addresses of at least 25 qualified voters of the district or two percent of the voters who voted in the previous annual election of the members of the board of education, whichever is greater, and shall state the name and residence of the candidate, and the vacancy to be filled, including the length of the term of office. Each petition shall be filed with the District Clerk not later than 30 days preceding the Annual Meeting and Election at which the candidates so nominated are to be elected.

A lottery to determine the order that the candidate(s) name will be listed on the ballot will be held the day after the last day for submitting nominating petitions. The District Clerk will supervise the procedure used to establish the order of names on the ballot. The Board may reject nominations if the candidate is ineligible or has declared an unwillingness to serve.

Reporting Expenditures

If a candidate’s campaign expenditures exceed $500, the candidate must file a sworn statement with both the district clerk and the commissioner of education itemizing their expenditures and contributions received. The statement must list the amounts of all money or other valuable things paid, given, expended or promised by the candidate, or incurred for or on the candidate’s behalf with his or her approval.

A candidate who spends $500 or less is only required to file a sworn statement with the district clerk indicated this to be the case.

Should any contribution or loan in excess of $1,000 be received after the fifth day but before the election, such contribution must be reported within 24 hours after receipt.

An initial campaign expenditure statement must be filed on or before 30 days before the election, a second statement must be filed on or before the fifth (5th) day preceding the election and a final statement must be filed within 20 days after the election.

Cross-ref:

1050, Annual District Election and Budget Vote

6120, Budget Hearing

Ref:

Education Law §§2018; 2031-a

Adoption date: October 24, 2016

Amended date: September 18, 2017

2120.2 VOTING PROCEDURES

Eligibility to Vote

A person shall be entitled to vote in any school district election and in all matters placed upon the official ballot, if such person is:

1. a citizen of the United States;

2. at least 18 years of age;

3. a resident within the school district for a period of 30 days next preceding the election at which such person desires to vote;

4. qualified to register or is registered to vote in accord with section 5-106 of the Election Lawwhich excludes:

a) those convicted felons who have not been pardoned or had their rights of citizenship restored, those whose maximum sentence of imprisonment has not expired; and/or those who have not been discharged from parole;

b) persons adjudged mentally incompetent by a court.

Challenges to voters believed unqualified to vote may be undertaken pursuant to Education Law provisions. Each annual or special election or meeting shall have a presiding chairman appointed by the Board. Such chairman shall have the responsibility of properly handling any challenges to the qualification of any voter.

Voting

Voting machines shall be used for recording the votes on all elections and questions at annual and special school district meetings or elections in the district. The only exception to the use of voting machines shall be an emergency situation whereby the machines are unavailable due to a mechanical failure or state or local law prohibiting their use, or where individual votes using an affidavit ballot pursuant to the Education Law 2019-a. If this should arise, paper ballots will be used.

Each voting machine shall have at least two election inspectors appointed by the Board in attendance during all voting hours. It shall be the duty of the District Clerk and assistant clerk or clerks to keep a poll list containing the name and legal residence of each person before such person is permitted to vote.

Entering a voting machine with another person is prohibited, except upon request from a voter, in which case an election inspector shall be allowed to enter the voting machine with that voter for the sole purpose of assisting that person in the actual manipulation of the voting machine. The election inspector shall not advise or induce such voter to vote on any proposition or candidate, and the election inspector shall never reveal the vote(s) recorded by the voter to any other person at any time.

Write-in ballot slots are required. Ballots containing the names of nominated candidates will be provided by the Board. On a paper ballot, one blank space will be provided under the name of the last candidate for each office so that voters may vote for candidates who have not been nominated for the offices to be filled at the election. There will be as many write-in slots as there are vacancies at the time of election.

The writing in, with a black lead pencil or pen, of a name in the blank space so provided, will sufficiently indicate a vote. The district cannot require a voter to place any other mark beside the name of a write-in candidate.

Absentee Ballots

The Board provides for the use of absentee ballots for voting. Such ballots shall be available for the election of members of the Board of Education, the adoption of the school district budget, on questions and propositions submitted to the voters of the district, and otherwise in accordance with the provisions of Education Law. The application must be received by the District Clerk at least seven days prior to the election, if the ballot is to be mailed to the voter; or the application must be received by the day before the election, if the ballot is to be personally delivered to the voter. The application must be completed and returned, and the individual must verify therein that he/she meets or will meet all voting requirements, and explain the reason for his/her inability to appear in person to vote.

In particular, the individual must explain that he/she will be unable to appear to vote in person on the day of the school district election because:

1. he/she is or will be on such day a patient in a hospital, or unable to appear personally at the polling place on such day because of illness or physical disability;

2. his/her duties, occupation, business, or studies will require him/her to be outside of the county or city of his/her residence on such day;

3. he/she will be on vacation outside of the county or city of his/her residence on such day; or

4. he/she will be absent from his/her voting residence because he/she is detained in jail awaiting action by a grand jury, awaiting trial, or is confined in prison after conviction for an offense other than a felony.

The district shall request registration lists from the Board of Elections for those voters whose registration record has been marked "permanently disabled" and shall automatically mail absentee ballots to such voters in advance of each district vote or election at his/her last known address.

Ref:

Education Law §§2012; 2014; 2018; 2018-a; 2018-b; 2018-c; 2019; 2019-a; 2020; 2025; 2032(2)(e); 2035; 2037; 2603; 2607; 2610; 2613

Election Law §§3-224; 5-106; 5-612; 5-400; 5-406

Matter of Rodriguez, 31 EDR 471 (1992)

Matter of Gresty, 31 EDR 90 (1991)

Matter of Ferro, 25 EDR 175 (1985)

Matter of Manno and Maloney, 23 EDR 172 (1983)

Matter of Yost, 21 EDR 140 (1981)

Matter of Alpert and Helmer, 20 EDR 281 (1980)

Matter of Reigler and Barton, 16 EDR 256 (1977)

Adoption date: June 9, 2014

Amended date: September 18, 2017

2121 BOARD MEMBER QUALIFICATIONS

The qualifications of a candidate for the office of member of the Board of Education are that the candidate:

1. must be able to read and write;

2. must be a qualified voter of the district; that is, a citizen of the United States, at least 18 years of age or older, and not adjudged to be an incompetent;

(Note: a convicted felon is barred from running for a seat on a board of education if his or her maximum prison sentence has not expired or if he or she has not been pardoned or discharged from parole)

3. must be and have been a resident of the school district for at least one year prior to election;

4. may not have been removed from any school district office within the preceding year;

5. may not reside with another member of the same school board as a member of the same family;

6. may not be a current employee of the school board; and

7. may not simultaneously hold another incompatible public office.

Ref:

Education Law §§2102; 2103; 2502(7)

Election Law §5-106(2)-(4), (6)

Rosentock v. Scaringe, 40 N.Y.2d 563 (1976)

Matter of Schoch, 21 EDR 300 (1981)

Adoption date: June 9, 2014

2150 FILLING BOARD VACANCIES

The Board of Education has the power to fill any vacancy, by a majority vote, which may occur on the Board by reason of death, resignation, removal from office or from the school district, or refusal to serve, of any member or officer of the Board. The person so appointed in the place of any such member of the Board shall hold his/her office until the next annual election of Board members. The unexpired term of the office will then be filled by election.

The Board shall have the power to call a special school district election for the purpose of filling the unexpired term of office of a member of the Board. This special election shall take place within ninety (90) days after the vacancy occurs.

Ref:

Education Law §§1709(17); 2113

Adoption date: June 9, 2014

Amended date: September 18, 2017

1050 ANNUAL DISTRICT ELECTION AND BUDGET VOTE

The district shall hold an annual election and budget vote at which time the district's authorized voters will elect members of the Board of Education and vote on the district budget for the coming school year. The annual district election and budget vote will be held on the third Tuesday in May, unless, due to a conflict with religious observance, the Board requests that the Commissioner approve changing the election date to the second Tuesday in May. The request is due to the Commissioner by March 1st.

The District Clerk shall publish a notice of the time and place of the annual election and budget vote at least four times within the seven weeks prior to the election, in two newspapers having general circulation within the district. The first publication of the notice shall be at least 45 days prior to the election. The notice shall also contain notice of any other matter required by law.

Copies of the budget to be voted upon at the annual election and budget vote will be available upon request in each district school building, at the school district offices, and at any public library or free association library within the district, for district residents at the time of the annual election and budget vote and the 14 days preceding (other than Saturday, Sunday and holidays), as well as on the school district's internet website.

The Board shall appoint assistant clerks and election inspectors necessary for the annual election and budget vote at a Board meeting held before the annual election and budget vote.

Propositions

The Board has the authority, under the Education Law, to adopt reasonable rules and regulations concerning the submission of petitions to the Board to place propositions on the ballot. Pursuant to those provisions, the Board establishes the following guidelines:

  1. Unless otherwise provided by the Education Law, petitions for the submission of a proposition must contain a minimum of 25 signatures of qualified voters of the district or 5 percent of the number of voters who voted in the previous annual election of the members of the Board of Education, whichever is greater.
  2. Petitions must be filed with the District Clerk at least 30 days prior to the annual election, except for petitions relating to a proposition which must be included in the notice of the annual election (e.g., changing the number of board members). Such petitions must be submitted 60 days in advance of the annual election to facilitate the preparation and printing of the ballots.
  3. If a proposition requires the expenditure of money, it must include the necessary specific appropriation or it may be rejected.
  4. Wording of a proposition must comply with legal requirements. If the wording does not comply, it may be changed or altered by the Board, or the Board may reject a petition for failure to comply.
  5. A proposition may be rejected if it would be confusing to the voters, e.g., another proposition is already on the ballot concerning the same or similar issue and such proposition would cause difficulty in interpreting voting results.

Propositions received in accordance with these specifications will be placed on the ballot as proposition and will be voted upon by the voters in the same manner as the proposed budget, except that the Board shall not be required to place any proposition on the ballot which is within the exclusive province of the Board, or not within the powers of the voters, or otherwise forbidden by law. No proposition involving the budget may be submitted to the voters more than twice within a twelve month period.

Any proposition that would cause a tax levy increase which would exceed the lesser of 2% of the prior year's tax levy or the rate of inflation must be approved by 60 percent of the voters.

Once an issue has been placed before the voters in a particular year, the board may refuse to place the issue before the voters again in the same year.

The Board may also, on its own motion, submit propositions.

Improper Advocacy

The district may provide informational and factual material to the voters concerning budgets, propositions, or other matters before the electorate. However, school district funds, resources and facilities may not be used to exhort voters to support partisan activities. For example, the district will not engage in activities including, but not limited to, sending flyers supporting or advocating a "yes" or "no" vote home with students, providing mailing labels for materials supporting a proposition or candidate or using the district e-mail to deliver promotional material for candidates.

The District does not allow campaigning or electioneering during the school day on school district premises. Moreover, campaigning or electioneering is not permitted at any time during school sponsored events which are held in school buildings or on school grounds. If an individual wishes to distribute partisan campaign information/literature during non-school hours, it must be done outside of any school building and in a way which is non-intrusive or disruptive of any events which may be taking place in or outside the school building.

Ref:

Education Law §§416(3); 1608(2); 1716(2) 1804(4); 1906(1); 2002(1); 2003(1)(2); 2004(1)-(7); 2009; 2021; 2022(1), (4)-(5); 2035(2); 2601-a(2)

General Construction Law §60

Matter of Hebel, 34 EDR 319 (1994)

Matter of Martin, 32 EDR 567 (1993)

Matter of Como, 30 EDR 214 (1990)

Adoption date: November 7, 2011

Amended date: September 18, 2017