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Educational Excellence School Advisory Councils (EESAC)

What is the role of the Educational Excellence School Advisory Council (EESAC)?

The EESAC is the sole body responsible for final decision-making at the school relating to the implementation of school improvement and accountability. The EESAC must assist in the preparation and evaluation of the School Performance Excellence Plan (School PEP), must assist the principal in the development of the annual budget, must make decisions regarding the use of funds allocated by the Florida Legislature to the school advisory councils (known in Miami-Dade County Public Schools as Educational Excellence School Advisory Councils), and, with staff, must decide on the use of School Recognition Funds awarded to the school.

Can a principal amend the School PEP without the input of the members of the EESAC?

All decisions regarding the School PEP must be approved by the EESAC.

When are EESAC elections conducted?

Elections are held annually to fill vacancies that have occurred in the EESAC membership.  Additional elections may be needed during the school year to fill other unforeseen vacancies or to replace members who have two consecutive unexcused absences.  The process for conducting elections must be outlined in the bylaws.

How long are the terms of those elected?

The length of terms is a decision made by the EESAC and included in the bylaws.

Who conducts the elections?

It is the responsibility of the EESAC chair to oversee all EESAC elections.  The election of teachers will be conducted by the UTD steward.  The election of parents must be conducted in a manner that allows all parents in the school to participate.  If this election is held in conjunction with a PTA meeting, it must be clearly identified as a school election held immediately prior to or immediately following the PTA meeting.

How are parents and staff notified about upcoming elections?

Staff is notified following in-school communication procedures.  Prior notice must be given for all elections.  Election of parents must adhere to the requirements of the Florida Government-in-the-Sunshine Law, with appropriate notification sent to all parents at least five working days in advance of the election.

Why are bylaws important?

Bylaws support state law, school board rule, and teacher contract requirements.  In addition, they clarify both the requirements and the unique features of the individual EESAC.  Bylaws have the force of law and must be adhered to.

What should bylaws include?

Bylaws should address the purpose of the EESAC; membership, election and member replacement procedures; the duties of members; the role of alternates; quorum requirements; where and when meetings will be held; agenda preparation and distribution; the selection and role of officers; how minutes will be kept and maintained; and the process for amendments.  See School Board Rule 6Gx13- 1B-1.031 for a bylaws guide.

How often should bylaws be reviewed for necessary modifications?

Bylaws should be reviewed annually or more often, as necessary.

Who should review the bylaws?

It is recommended that EESACs have a standing bylaws committee to review the bylaws on a regular basis and make recommendations for change.  Decisions about amendments are made by the EESAC, following the existing bylaws procedures.  The district may review bylaws to assure compliance with state statutes.

What is the role of the EESAC as it relates to the budget?

The EESAC must assist the principal in the development of the school’s budget.

Who should be trained in the budget?

All members of the EESAC or a subcommittee identified by the EESAC should receive budget training.

Who should do the budget training?

The training may be provided by the principal, by another competent administrator, by the school’s budget analyst, or by an EESAC member.

Who can request budget training?

Any member of the EESAC can make this request.

How are alternates determined?

There must be at least one alternate teacher, one alternate parent, one alternate education support employee, and one alternate student.  Each of these must be elected by his/her constituent group. 

If there is a vacancy on the EESAC, does the alternate assume that position or is a new election conducted?

This is an EESAC decision and must be outlined in the bylaws.

Can every member of the EESAC have an alternate?

It is recommended that more than one alternate be elected so that the EESAC will have a full and balanced participation by all stakeholder groups.  It is possible to have an alternate for every member, if this is the decision of the EESAC and it is stated in the bylaws.

Is the Assistant Principal (AP) the automatic alternate of the principal?

The AP is not considered the alternate of the principal unless the EESAC has received a waiver from the EESAC Support Committee to list the assistant principal in the alternate position.  The principal is a required member.  When he or she is unavoidably absent, the alternate will have full decision making rights and responsibilities.

Can the EESAC request other changes to its membership?

Yes, a request for a waiver for a variation in composition may be submitted to the EESAC Support Committee, along with a copy of the minutes from the meeting at which this request is approved.

Who creates the agenda?

The process for developing the agenda is to be outlined in the bylaws.  It is the responsibility of the chair to prepare and distribute the agenda.

How do interested parties have items placed on the agenda?

The process for members and non-members to submit agenda items is part of the overall agenda development process which is included in the bylaws.

When and to whom must the agenda be provided?

The agenda must be distributed to all EESAC members at least three days in advance of the meeting; the agenda may be posted along with the meeting notice for all interested parties;

Who writes the minutes of the meetings?

The EESAC may elect one of its members to be the Recording Secretary, or a staff member may be asked to prepare the minutes on behalf of the EESAC.

Who receives copies of the minutes?

Minutes must be distributed to all members of the EESAC.  They must also be posted online.  Minutes are a public record which must be accessible to any person who requests to review them.

When and how must minutes be made available?

Once the EESAC has approved the minutes from a previous meeting, those minutes must also be verified online.  From that moment, they will be accessible to the public on the Internet.  The official copy of the minutes which is maintained by the school must also be made available as soon as the minutes have been approved.  They may be made available in the office, the media center, or some other public area of the school.  If someone requests a copy, the school may charge 15 cents per page to reproduce the minutes.

If there are EESAC funds remaining at the end of the year, can they be carried over to the following year?

Yes, although the intent of the Legislature is for the funds to be used during the school year in which they are awarded.

Can the funds be used to pay EESAC members’ stipends?

The Florida Attorney General has written an Opinion that EESAC funds may not be used to pay a stipend to a member since this is not a “project or program.”

How does the Florida Sunshine Law apply to EESACs?

EESAC meetings are public meetings and must be open to the public.  They must be advertised and must be held in a facility which does not discriminate.  Members of the public must be provided an opportunity to speak to the EESAC.  The minutes of the EESAC and other documents are public records which must be maintained and made available to the public.  No members of the EESAC may discuss with one another items which will be considered by the EESAC unless they have publicly advertised their intention to have this discussion. 

Where can I get a copy of the Sunshine Law?

The law is available online at http://legal.firn.edu/sunshine/general.htm

For more information about EESACs, please visit the EESAC website.