2006 New Mexico Statutes - Section 22-2B-3 — Regional education cooperatives authorized.

22-2B-3. Regional education cooperatives authorized.

A.     The state board [department] may authorize the existence and operation of "regional education cooperatives". Upon authorization by the state board, local school boards may join with other local school boards or other state-supported educational institutions to form cooperatives to provide education-related services. Cooperatives shall be deemed individual state agencies administratively attached to the department of education; provided that:   

(1)     pursuant to the rules of the state board [department], cooperatives may own, and have control and management over, buildings and land independent of the director of the property control division of the general services department;   

(2)     cooperatives shall not submit budgets to the department of finance and administration but shall submit them to the department of education. The state board [department] shall, by rule, determine the provisions of the Public School Finance Act [ 22-8-1 NMSA 1978] relating to budgets and expenditures that are applicable to cooperatives; and   

(3)     pursuant to the rules of the state board [department], the state superintendent [secretary] may, after considering the factors specified in Section 22-8-38 NMSA 1978, designate a cooperative council as a board of finance with which all funds appropriated or distributed to it shall be deposited. If such a designation is not made or if such a designation is suspended by the state superintendent, the money appropriated or to be distributed to a cooperative shall be deposited with the state treasurer. Unexpended or unencumbered balances in the account of a cooperative shall not revert.   

B.     The state board [department] shall, by rule, establish minimum criteria for the establishment and operation of cooperatives. The state board shall also establish procedures for oversight of cooperatives to ensure compliance with state board rule. Cooperatives shall be exempt from the provisions of the Personnel Act [ 10-9-1 NMSA 1978].   

C.     The state board [department], with full participation by the cooperatives, shall develop a statewide long-range plan for educational and technical assistance activities in public and charter schools served by the cooperatives. The state board and cooperatives shall report on the initial planning activities to the legislative finance committee, the legislative education study committee and the office of the governor by November 15, 2001 and shall provide annual reports thereafter.   

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