2020 Georgia Code
Title 20 - Education
Chapter 2 - Elementary and Secondary Education
Article 3 - Local Boards of Education
§ 20-2-57. Organization of County Boards; Chairperson and Secretary; Quorum; Record of Proceedings

Universal Citation: GA Code § 20-2-57 (2020)
  1. Unless otherwise provided by local law or, in the absence of local law, by local board policy, upon being called together by one of their number, the members of the local board shall organize by selecting one of their number as chairperson to serve as such during the term for which that person was chosen as a member of the local board. The local school superintendent shall act as secretary of the local board, ex officio. A majority of the local board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The votes of a majority of the members present shall be necessary for the transaction of any business or discharge of any duties of the local board of education, provided there is a quorum present. Any action taken by less than a majority of the board members may be rescinded by a majority of the board members at the next regular meeting or within 30 days of such action, whichever is later. It shall be the duty of the superintendent as secretary to be present at the meetings of the local board, to keep the minutes of its meetings and make a permanent record of them, and to do any other clerical work it may direct the superintendent to do. The superintendent shall cause to be recorded in a book, to be provided for the purpose, all official proceedings of the local board, which shall be a public record open to the inspection of any person interested therein; and all such proceedings, when so recorded, shall be signed by the chairperson and countersigned by the secretary.
  2. Pursuant to the authority of this subsection, any local board of education whose chairperson is required to be a member of that board who is elected at large from its school district, when such requirement is imposed by the terms of a local law which became effective before this subsection may become effective under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended, shall continue to have as its chairperson that same member who is elected at large as designated by that local law, unless thereafter changed by local law.

(Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, §§ 82, 88; Code 1933, §§ 32-907, 32-912; Ga. L. 1956, p. 747, § 1; Ga. L. 1965, p. 370, § 1; Ga. L. 1974, p. 1104, § 2; Ga. L. 1982, p. 2107, § 18; Ga. L. 1984, p. 22, § 20; Ga. L. 1985, p. 467, § 1; Ga. L. 1991, p. 406, § 1; Ga. L. 1992, p. 1010, § 2; Ga. L. 1993, p. 1279, § 7; Ga. L. 1994, p. 97, § 20; Ga. L. 1994, p. 1936, § 2.5; Ga. L. 2010, p. 452, § 5/SB 84.)

Law reviews.

- For note on the 1994 amendment of this Code section, see 11 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 184 (1994).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Local act providing for selection of chair of board of education was unconstitutional bill of attainder.

- H.B. 563 was an unconstitutional bill of attainder under Ga. Const. 1983, Art. I, Sec. I, Para. X as applied to the chairperson of the Randolph County Board of Education because prior to the passage of the bill, the chairperson's term was not set to expire until December 31, 2010, but the bill operated to cut short the chairperson's four-year term that had previously been established by O.C.G.A. § 20-2-57(a) and local board policy. Cook v. Smith, 288 Ga. 409, 705 S.E.2d 847 (2010).

Superintendent not authorized to disclaim title to property vested in board.

- Authority given to the superintendent by former Code 1933, §§ 32-907, 32-912, and 32-1009 to act as an agent for the county school board did not include any authority to disclaim title to property vested in the board as public trustees. Ingram v. Doss, 217 Ga. 645, 124 S.E.2d 87 (1962).

Neither minutes nor signing thereof prerequisite condition to borrowing money.

- Neither the record on the minutes of the board of its resolution to borrow money, nor the signing of the minutes by the president (now the chair), is made a mandatory or prerequisite condition to the right to borrow money and execute notes for school purposes. American Sur. Co. v. Citizens' Bank, 48 Ga. App. 448, 172 S.E. 801 (1934), aff'd, 180 Ga. 827, 180 S.E. 635 (1935).

Official immunity upheld.

- Trial court properly granted summary judgment to a county school board and the board's superintendent in a parents' negligence action arising out of an attack on school grounds that injured their child as the board and the superintendent presented sufficient evidence that a school safety plan was in place at the elementary school at the time the child was attacked, entitling the board and the superintendent to official immunity barring the parents' negligence claims. Leake v. Murphy, 284 Ga. App. 490, 644 S.E.2d 328 (2007), cert. denied, 2007 Ga. LEXIS 671 (Ga. 2007).

Cited in American Sur. Co. v. Citizens' Bank, 44 Ga. App. 57, 160 S.E. 546 (1931); Marshall v. Walker, 183 Ga. 44, 187 S.E. 81 (1936); Guy v. Nelson, 202 Ga. 728, 44 S.E.2d 775 (1947); Mayor of Union Point v. Jones, 88 Ga. App. 848, 78 S.E.2d 348 (1953); Lilly v. Crisp County Sch. Sys., 117 Ga. App. 868, 162 S.E.2d 456 (1968); Grimes v. Clark, 226 Ga. 195, 173 S.E.2d 686 (1970); Callaway v. Kirkland, 320 F. Supp. 1135 (N.D. Ga. 1970); Knight v. Troup County Bd. of Educ., 144 Ga. App. 634, 242 S.E.2d 263 (1978).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Enlargement of nonresidency qualification requirements by local law unconstitutional.

- If an attempt were made to enlarge the qualification requirements (other than residence requirements) by local law, there would be a violation of Ga. Const. 1945, Art. I, Sec. IV, Para. I (see now Ga. Const. 1983, Art. III, Sec. VI, Para. IV) which prohibits special legislation in cases where provision has been made by existing general law. 1972 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U72-103.

Chair of local board is entitled to vote in same manner as are other members. 1962 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 146.

Chair is a board member whose voice and vote must be considered to the same extent as any other member of the school board in determining whether or not the will of the board has been expressed or manifested. 1963-65 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 568.

Chair of board can cast a vote to make a tie on some issues before the board. 1952-53 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 333.

Chair of board may vote to make or break a tie on some issues before the board. 1957 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 104.

Absence of chair or secretary.

- Local board of education must organize itself in the manner set forth in O.C.G.A. §§ 20-2-57 and20-2-58; however, the board may select two of the board's members to serve temporarily in the absence of the chair or secretary and may designate the members as vice-chairs. 1987 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U87-9.

County superintendent must of necessity be permitted to attend any official meeting of county board. 1954-56 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 171.

County superintendent may utilize stenographer or recording equipment at board meetings.

- While the county school superintendent may not delegate statutory responsibility for causing the minutes of a board meeting to be kept and made into a permanent record, the superintendent may, to better meet responsibilities in the matter, utilize the services of a stenographer, or, for that matter, any sort of recording equipment. 1973 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 73-172.

Local policies adopted by a board of education which do not appear to be the equivalent of "local laws" would not exempt the county board of education from following the requirements of O.C.G.A. § 20-2-57. The term "local law," which is also referred to as a "special law," refers to acts passed by the General Assembly which are designed to be territorially local, not permitting of application to any other county in the state. The local policies of the board of education cannot take precedence over the requirements of that section and the statute itself must control. 1991 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U91-3.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 68 Am. Jur. 2d, Schools, §§ 74 et seq., 163.

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, § 140 et seq.

ALR.

- Necessity, sufficiency, and effect of minutes or record of meeting of school board, 12 A.L.R. 235.

School thrift system, 49 A.L.R. 712.

Libel and slander: privileged nature of statements or utterances by member of school board in course of official proceedings, 85 A.L.R.3d 1137.

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