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      RS 17:1945.1     

  

§1945.1. Board of directors of the Special School District; creation; membership; terms; powers, duties, and functions

            A. The board of directors of the Special School District is hereby created. The board shall be composed of twelve members who shall be subject to confirmation by the Senate, one of whom shall be a member of the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education appointed by the president of the state board and the remainder of whom shall be appointed by the governor, as follows:

            (1) One member representing the governor's office of disability affairs.

            (2)(a) One member who meets both of these criteria:

            (i) Demonstrates competency in American Sign Language.

            (ii) Possesses expertise in educating students who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind.

            (b) If unable to appoint a person who meets both of these criteria, the governor may instead appoint a member who meets only one of these criteria.

            (3)(a) One member who meets both of these criteria:

            (i) Demonstrates competency in braille.

            (ii) Possesses expertise in educating students who are blind or visually impaired.

            (b) If unable to appoint a person who meets both of these criteria, the governor may instead appoint a member who meets only one of these criteria.

            (4) One member representing students receiving special education services at facilities operated by the office of juvenile justice, selected from a list of three nominees submitted by the deputy secretary of the office.

            (5) One member representing students receiving special education services at facilities operated by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, selected from a list of three nominees submitted by the secretary of the department.

            (6) One member representing students receiving special education services at facilities operated by the Louisiana Department of Health, selected from a list of three nominees submitted by the secretary of the department.

            (7) One member representing students receiving special education services from Louisiana Rehabilitation Services, selected from a list of three nominees submitted by the secretary of the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

            (8) One member representing persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, selected from a list of six persons, two of whom shall be nominated by each of the following:

            (a) The Louisiana Commission for the Deaf.

            (b) The Louisiana Association of the Deaf.

            (c) Deaf Focus.

            (9) One member representing persons who are visually impaired, selected from a list of six persons, two of whom shall be nominated by each of the following:

            (a) The National Federation of the Blind of Louisiana.

            (b) The Louisiana Association for the Blind.

            (c) The Lighthouse for the Blind.

            (10) One member with expertise in deaf-blindness selected from a list of three nominees submitted by the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults, South Central Region.

            (11) One alumnus of a Louisiana Special School.

            B. Of the members appointed by the governor, there shall be at least one resident of each public health region established by the office of public health of the Louisiana Department of Health, with no more than two members from any region.

            C. The terms of the members of the board shall be concurrent with the term of the person making the appointment, and they shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority. Members shall serve until their successors have been appointed and qualified. A vacancy on the board shall be filled in the manner of the original appointment. No member of the board shall be an employee of the Special School District.

            D. The board shall have the authority to do the following:

            (1) Accept donations, bequests, or other forms of financial assistance for educational purposes from any public or private person or agency and comply with rules and regulations governing grants from the federal government or from any other person or agency.

            (2) Purchase land and equipment and make improvements to facilities necessary for the use of the district in accordance with applicable law.

            (3) Lease land or other property belonging to the district, subject to approval of the commissioner of administration and in accordance with applicable law.

            (4) Sell or exchange land or other immovable property not needed for district purposes, but only when specifically authorized by law and then in accordance only with the procedures provided in R.S. 41:892 for the sale of unused school lands. The sale shall be authorized by resolution adopted by the board, and the act of sale shall be signed by the president of the board or such other person to whom the signing may be delegated by the board in the authorizing resolution.

            (5) Adopt rules, regulations, and policies necessary or proper for the conduct of the business of the board.

            (6) Award certificates and issue diplomas for successful completion of programs of study. All such certificates and diplomas shall be in addition to a regular high school diploma which shall be issued by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 17:6(A)(11) to any student who successfully completes the program of study adopted by the state board.

            (7) Enter into contracts and agreements which have been recommended by the district superintendent, in accordance with applicable law, and to the extent that funds are specifically appropriated therefor, with other public agencies with respect to cooperative enterprises and undertakings related to or associated with an educational purpose or program affecting education in the district. This shall not preclude the board from entering into other such contracts and agreements that it deems necessary to carry out its duties and functions.

            (8) Perform such other functions as are necessary for the governance of the district.

            E. In addition to the authorities granted by this Section and any powers, duties, and responsibilities vested by any other applicable laws, the board shall:

            (1) Adopt rules, regulations, and policies that are necessary for the efficient operation of the district.

            (2) Establish criteria to be used in determining eligibility of applicants for enrollment in accordance with R.S. 17:1945(B)(2). No student shall be enrolled without the written consent of the student's parent or legal guardian.

            (3) Prescribe and select for use free textbooks and other materials of instruction for children enrolled in the schools and programs under its jurisdiction.

            (4) Enter into an agreement, as recommended by the district superintendent, with a city, parish, or other local public school system to participate in educational and academic programs or courses.

            (5) Select a superintendent who shall be the chief administrative officer of the district and who shall administer the rules, regulations, and policies adopted by the board. The board shall delegate to the superintendent such of its powers and duties as it deems appropriate to aid the superintendent in the efficient administration of his responsibility for the implementation of the policies of the board. The superintendent shall be responsible for all of the administrative functions, duties, and needs of the board, including but not limited to the following:

            (a) Preparing an annual budget necessary for the continued operation of the district, the Louisiana Special Schools, and the Special School Programs and submitting such budget to the board for adoption.

            (b) Paying the salaries and expenses, including but not restricted to facilities, equipment, and supplies, of the faculty and staff of the district out of funds appropriated or otherwise made available for the operating and administrative expenses of the board and the district.

            (c) Exercising budgetary responsibility and allocating for expenditure by the district all monies appropriated or otherwise made available for purposes of the district.

            (d) Developing and annually updating a student handbook including but not limited to all rules, regulations, and policies for the disciplining of students and submitting such handbook to the board for consideration and adoption.

            (e) Determining faculty and staff positions necessary for the efficient operation of the district and selecting personnel for such positions.

            (6) Elect from its membership a president, vice president, secretary-treasurer, and any other officers the board considers necessary.

            F. Members of the board shall not receive any compensation for their service as members.

            Acts 2021, No. 468, §1, eff. July 1, 2021.



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