For Robert’s Rules of Order terms defined, see any number of sources online, including Nancy Sylvester’s informative site. The current Robert’s Rules Newly Revised, 11th Edition is not available online.
• “104.02 Trustees shall be permitted to debate only upon a motion, as herein provided, and each trustee shall be limited to the opportunity to speak once to any motion, unless the motion has been amended, for a majority vote of the Board. The proposer of a motion shall be given the opportunity to open and close debate of his motion. The mover of the principle [sic] motion shall have the right to speak for five minutes to the motion and shall be allowed five minutes to conclude the debate on the motion.”
Bylaw 9130.1 Education Policy Development Committee
• “4.The Education Policy Development Committee shall meet in accordance with the provisions of Bylaw 9360.2 (Meetings of the Standing Committees) for the purpose of providing direction to administration on the development of new educational policies [mostly redundant now that the currently constituted Ministry of Education provides decrees on education policy and directions in general disregard for the renewed Memorandum of Understanding intended to clarify the role of BC School Trustees] and to review Board motions which require translation to educational policy. In addition, the Committee shall, from time to time as it sees fit, make recommendations to the Board in respect of educational policy for the District.’
Bylaw 9130.2 Operations Policy and Planning Standing Committee [NB: Not Operations , Policy and Planning. A comma can mean a lot. See “Eats Shoot and Leaves.”]
• “3. Associated with the Committee, by way of auxiliary staff, shall be the Superintendent or delegate, the Secretary-Treasurer or delegate, the Director of Human Resources, the Director of Facilities Services, the Director of Financial Services, Director of Information Technology and Planning and any other administrative officers as may be required by the Committee.
• 4. The Operations Policy and Planning Committee shall meet in accordance with the provisions of By-law 9360.2 Meetings of the Standing Committees for the purpose of developing for Board consideration major impact areas related to: a) all personnel matters; b) all financial and legal matters; c) all matters related to the facilities required to provide educational programs; d) information technology and planning matters.”
Bylaw 9130: Standing Committees of the Board
• “The purpose of each standing committee shall be firstly to clarify issues that need to be referred to the Board for review and decision making and, secondly, to present policy recommendations for Board consideration.”
• 3. The Chairperson of the Board shall be an ex officio member of both Committees, with voting rights.
• 4. All members of the Education Policy Development Committee shall be ex officio members of the Operations Policy and Planning Committee with voting rights.
• 5. All members of the Operations Policy and Planning Committee shall be ex officio members of the Education Policy Development Committee with voting rights.
• 6. A quorum is a majority of trustee members on the committee.”
So, what’s “ex officio”? The Official Robert’s Rules of Order Website FAQ : “Ex officio” is a Latin term meaning “by virtue of office or position.” Ex-officio members of boards and committees, therefore, are persons who are members by virtue of some other office or position that they hold….. Without exception, ex-officio members of boards and committees have exactly the same rights and privileges as do all other members, including, of course, the right to vote. There are, however, two instances in which ex-officio members are not counted in determining the number required for a quorum or in determining whether or not a quorum is present. These two instances are: 1. In the case of the president [Chair], whenever the bylaws provide that the president shall be an ex-officio member of all committees (or of all committees with certain stated exceptions)…“[RRONR (11th ed.), pp. 483-84; p. 497, ll. 20-29.]
Letters from BC School Boards to the Minister of Education, and others on a variety of topics are here on a BCSTA page. Check the BCSTA page now and then – these letters often come out daily if there is a hot issue. Board Chairs write these letters at the direction of the majority of Trustees on their Board. Wording is fined tuned in Board discussion; sometimes these letters are partially or completely written by District staff for the Chair.
Letters from the SD61 Board Chair to the Minister of Education and others are on the SD61 Board Advocacy page. (My motion to set up the Advocacy page carried some time ago, so you can find letters sent by the Chair on various topics related to public education and SD61 in particular, and replies we receive, on that page.) The Chair writes these letters following directions of the Board through motions carried by the majority of 9 votes, or consensus on occasion. The Chair cannot originate letters independently on behalf of the Board. Usually these letters are completely or partially prepared by District staff.