2011 -- S 0763 SUBSTITUTE A
A N A C T
RELATING TO THE
Introduced By: Senator Francis T. Maher
Date Introduced: March 24, 2011
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Chapter 80 of the Public Laws of 1965, entitled "An Act Approving and
Ratifying the Agreement
between the Towns of
Respect to the Formation of
subsequent thereto, are hereby in their entirety amended to read as follows:
This agreement is entered
into by the towns of
chapter 3 of title 16 of the general laws of 1956 of the
establishment of a regional school district, hereinafter sometimes referred to as the regional
school district or district.
Section I. The regional district school committee.
The powers and duties of the regional school district shall be vested in and exercised by a
regional district school committee, hereinafter sometimes referred to as the committee. The
committee shall consist of seven (7) members, four (4) from the
from the town of
shall be elected at biennial town elections. All members shall serve until their respective
successors are appointed and qualified. The school committee shall be reapportioned following
each decennial national census. Reapportionment to take effect at the election next following the
census. The school committee shall continue to have seven (7) members and the members shall
continue to have staggered four (4) years terms. The school committee in office in April of 2012
and each tenth year thereafter shall set the number of committee members from each town, on the
basis of the population of each town, and provide for staggered terms. The town with the higher
population will have no more than four (4) committee members.
(B) Initial committee. [No longer applicable]
(C) Subsequent committee members. [First four sentences of original act are no
longer applicable. Following are the currently applicable
provisions of P.L. 1992
the biennial town elections in 1992 the town of
terms of four (4) years, and the town of
four (4) years. At the biennial town elections in 1994 the
members and the town of
years. The terms of office of the aforesaid members shall commence on the first day of December
following their election. Thereafter, in every year in which the term of office of one (1) or more
members expires, the member towns involved shall at its biennial town election elect one (1) or
more members, as the case may be, to serve for a term of four (4) years commencing on the first
day of December following such election.
If a vacancy occurs among the members appointed by the school committees under
subsection I (B) or among the members elected under subsection I (C), the town council from the
town involved shall appoint a member to serve until the next biennial town election, at which
election a successor shall be elected to serve for the balance of the unexpired term, if any.
Promptly upon the appointment and qualification of the initial members and on the 1st
day of December biennially thereafter the committee shall organize and choose by a ballot a
chairman and a vice chairman from its own membership. The chairman and vice chairman shall
retain full rights to vote on all matters before the committee. At the same meeting, or at any other
meeting, the committee shall appoint a treasurer and a secretary, who may be the same person but
who need not be members of the Committee, choose such other officers as it deems advisable,
determine the terms of office of its officers (except the chairman and vice chairman who shall be
elected biennially as provided above), and prescribe the powers and duties of any of its officers,
fix the time and place for its regular meetings and provide for the calling of special meetings.
(F) Powers and duties.
The committee shall have all the powers and duties conferred and imposed upon school
committees by law and conferred and imposed upon it by this agreement, and such other
additional powers and duties, not inconsistent with this agreement, as are specified in section 16-
3-11 of the general laws and any amendments thereof or additions thereto now or hereafter
enacted, or as may be specified in any other applicable general or special law.
The quorum for the transaction of business shall be a majority of the committee, but a
number less than the majority may adjourn.
Compensation for members of the committee and the clerk and treasurer thereof, shall be
determined by the voters at the all-day referendum provided in Section V.
(I) Surety bonds.
The clerk and treasurer of the district shall give surety bonds to the regional school
district in such sum and with such surety as shall be satisfactory to the committee. The expense of
the bonds shall be chargeable to the regional school district.
Section II. The regional district school building committee.
The regional district school building committee shall consist of twelve (12) members, six
the town of
(B) Method of selection.
Six (6) of the members of the regional district school committee shall be members ex-
officio of the school building committee to be selected by the school committee. In addition, the
town council of each member town shall appoint three (3) residents of the town to serve as
members of the regional district school building committee.
(C) Method of organization.
At such time as a regional district school building committee shall be deemed necessary,
the chairman of the regional district school committee shall call upon the respective town
councils of the member towns for the appointment of the necessary representatives. The chairman
of the regional district school committee shall then notify those persons appointed or elected of
the time and place of the first meeting, and shall act as the temporary chairman, without voting
rights, until the regional district school building committee shall have completed its own
(D) Powers and duties.
The regional district school building committee shall have the following duties:
(1) To secure competent architectural and engineering services for the making of
surveys, the preparation of plans and specifications for the construction and equipment of a
school or schools in said district, and to employ such clerical assistance as may be necessary.
(2) To construct, furnish and equip schools and athletic facilities and improve the
grounds upon which the schools are located and to make additions to said schools as may be
(3) To make all contracts and agreements that may be necessary for the exercise of
the powers vested in said district school building committee by subparagraphs (1) and (2) hereof,
provided, however, that said regional district school building committee shall not make any
expenditure or incur any liability unless the necessary appropriations have been authorized by the
regional school district financial meeting as hereinafter provided.
The term of the building committee shall be until such time as the authorized building or
buildings have been constructed and have been accepted by the regional district school building
committee upon recommendation of the architects engaged by the regional district school
building committee and for one year thereafter, whereupon the term of office of the committee
In the event of a vacancy on the school building committee, the town council from the
member town involved shall appoint a member to serve the balance of term, provided, however,
that any vacancy among the members of the regional school district committee serving ex-officio
shall be filled in accordance with subsection I (D).
(G) Limitation of liability.
No member of the regional district school building committee shall be held personally
liable for damages in the performance of his duties as a member of the committee.
Section III. Location of the regional district school.
The regional district middle and secondary school or schools shall be located within the
geographical limits of the district and within two miles of the common boundary separating the
convenient places chosen by the regional district school committee. The amount of land taken by
condemnation for any building site may exceed five acres but shall not exceed seventy-five acres
for any one building site.
Section IV. Type of regional school district.
Commencing July 1, 1965, the regional school district shall operate at all grade levels
now provided by the member towns and shall perform all educational services currently provided
in the member towns. The district may provide such other services as the committee may
All school buildings currently in use in the member towns shall be transferred to the
district on July 1, 1965. The district shall assume responsibility for the servicing of outstanding
debts thereon on July 1, 1965.
Section V. Annual budget of the regional school district.
The annual budget of the regional school district as proposed by the school committee
shall be voted upon in an all-day referendum in the member towns to be held on the second or
third Monday of April each year to be scheduled by the school committee, with approval obtained
by a majority vote of the combined total vote of
to vote for at least 30 days prior to the date of the scheduled all-day referendum or any
subsequent referenda shall be eligible to vote at any all-day referendum. The boards of canvassers
of the towns of
prior to any such all-day referendum. In the event that the annual budget proposed by the school
committee is rejected, the school committee may schedule further all-day referenda to consider
revised annual budgets.
Section VI. Allocation of the costs of the regional school district.
(A) Classification of costs.
For the purpose of apportioning assessments levied by the regional school district against
the member towns, costs shall be divided into two categories: construction costs and operating
(B) Construction costs.
Construction costs shall include all expenses in the nature of capital outlay such as the
cost of acquiring land, the cost of construction, reconstructing and adding to buildings, and the
cost of remodeling or making extraordinary repairs to a school building or buildings, including
without limitation the cost of the original equipment and furnishings for such buildings or
additions, plans, architects’ and consultants’ fee, grading and other costs incidental to placing
school buildings and additions and related premises in operating condition. Construction costs
shall also include payment or principal of and interest on bonds, notes or other obligations issued
by the district to finance construction costs.
(C) Operating costs.
Operating costs shall include all costs not included in construction costs as defined in
subsection VI (B), but including interest on temporary notes issued by the district in anticipation
(D) Apportionment of construction and operating costs.
Construction and operating costs for the first fiscal year next following the establishment
of the regional school district and for every fiscal year thereafter shall be apportioned to the
member towns on the basis of their respective pupil enrollments in the regional school system.
Each member town’s share of construction and operating costs for each fiscal year shall be
determined by computing the ratio which the town’s pupil enrollment in the regional district
schools on October 1 of the year next preceding the year for which the apportionment is
determined bears to the total pupil enrollment from all the member towns in the regional district
schools on the same date. In the event that enrollment in the regional district schools has not been
accomplished by October 1 of any such year, construction and operating costs shall be
apportioned on the basis of enrollment of pupils residing in each member town and receiving
education at such town’s expense on October 1 of such year.
(E) Times of payment of apportioned costs.
Each member town shall pay to the district in each year its proportionate share, certified
as provided in subsection VII (E), of the construction and operating costs. The annual share of
each member town shall be paid in such amounts and at such times that at least the following
percentages of such annual share shall be paid on or before the dates indicated, respectively:
September 1 25%
December 1 50%
February 1 75%
May 1 100%
Section VII. Procedure for the adoption of the annual budget.
(A) Fiscal year.
The regional school district fiscal year shall begin on July 1 of each year.
(B) Initial budget. [No longer applicable]
(C) Tentative maintenance and operating budget.
1. Thereafter, [after initial budget] it shall be the duty of the regional school district
superintendent or chief administrative officer, to present to the regional district school committee,
at its regular meeting in the month of January, a preliminary budget containing his estimates of
the amount of money needed to operate the regional school district system for the ensuing fiscal
year, including therein provisions for any installment of principal or interest to become due in
such year on any bonds or other evidences of indebtedness of the district and any other
construction costs to be apportioned to the member towns in such year. The form of the budget
shall conform to the account system of the state department of education.
2. The regional district school committee shall prepare and approve a budget which
it believes will efficiently operate the regional school district for the ensuing year not later than
the second Tuesday in March.
3. At least seven (7) days before the all-day referendum in which the budget is to be
adopted, the regional district school committee shall hold a public hearing on the proposed
budget, at which time any citizen entitled to vote at the all-day referendum may be heard. Notice
of the date of such hearing, together with a summary of the proposed budget, accompanied by a
statement of the amount necessary to be raised by taxation shall be given at least ten (10) days in
advance thereof, by publication once in a newspaper of general circulation within the regional
school district and published in the State of
4. Within seventy-five (75) days before the all-day referendum at which the budget
is to be adopted, the regional district school committee shall hold workshops for the purpose of
committee deliberation, public information and public input with respect to the budget. Notice of
the dates of such workshops shall be given at least ten (10) days in advance thereof, by
publication once in a newspaper of general circulation within the regional school district and
published in the State of
5. Motions to increase or decrease the budget.
Motions to increase or decrease the budget by ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more
may be made by any qualified elector, provided that such motion is submitted to the regional
school district treasurer not later than thirty (30) days before the date of the all day referendum.
The district treasurer shall forward the proposed amendment to the Town Clerks of Exeter and
(D) Final maintenance and operating budget.
No later than the second Tuesday of March in each year, the committee shall adopt the
final budget for the regional school district, the budget to include debt and interest charges and
any other current construction costs as separate items, and shall apportion the amounts so
necessary to be raised in order to meet the budget in accordance with the provisions of subsection
VI (D). The final budget, as adopted by the regional district school committee, shall be acted
upon at the all-day referendum to be held on the second or third Monday or April of each year as
provided by Section V.
(E) Notification to member towns.
Within ten (10) days subsequent to the adoption of the budget at the all-day referendum,
the regional school district treasurer shall certify to the budgeting officers and financial town
meeting of the respective towns the amount of money to be raised by taxes in each town as herein
provided for the support of the regional school district which amount shall become a part of the
budget for each respective town, and shall be appropriated in full by the financial town meeting.
The fiscal records of the regional district school committee shall be available to the
auditors of the member towns.
Section VIII. Transportation.
School transportation shall be provided by the regional school district and the
cost thereof shall be apportioned to the member towns as an operating cost. The regional district
school committee shall be bound by existing transportation contracts.
Section IX. Admission of additional towns.
By an amendment of this agreement under and in accordance with section XI below, any
other town or towns may be admitted to the regional school district upon adoption as therein
provided of such amendment and upon acceptance by the town or towns seeking admission of the
agreement as so amended and also upon compliance with such provisions of law as may be
applicable and with such terms as may be set forth in such amendment.
Section X. Withdrawal.
Any member town may petition to withdraw from the regional school district at a time
and under terms to be stipulated in a proposed amendment to this agreement, provided, that (1)
the town seeking to withdraw has paid over to the district any costs which have been certified by
the regional district treasurer to the treasurer of the withdrawing town, including the entire
amount so certified for the year in which such withdrawal takes effect and (2) said town shall
remain liable to the regional school district for its share of the indebtedness of the regional school
district outstanding at the time of such withdrawal, and for interest thereon, to the same extent
and in the same manner as if the town had not withdrawn from the regional school district.
A town seeking to withdraw from the regional school district shall cease to be a member
if such proposed amendment is approved by a majority of all the members of the regional district
school committee and accepted by the petitioning town and each of the other member towns,
acceptance by each town to be by a majority vote of the voters present at an annual financial town
meeting or at a special financial town meeting called for the purpose.
(C) Cessation of term of office withdrawing town’s members.
Upon the effective date of withdrawal, the term of office of the members serving on the
regional district school committee from the withdrawing town shall terminate and the total
membership of the committee shall be decreased accordingly.
(D) Payments of certain construction costs made by a withdrawing town.
The money received by the regional school district from the withdrawing town
for payment of indebtedness or interest thereon shall be used only for such purpose and until so
used shall be deposited in trust in the name of the regional school district with a banking
institution in the State of
(E) Apportionment of costs after withdrawal.
The withdrawing towns annual share of any future installment of principal and interest on
obligations outstanding on the effective date of its withdrawal shall be fixed at the percentage
prevailing for such town at the last annual apportionment made next prior to the effective date of
the withdrawal. The remainder of any such installment after subtracting the shares of any town or
towns which have withdrawn shall be apportioned to the remaining member towns in the manner
provided in subsection VI (D) or as may be otherwise provided in the amendment providing for
Section XI. Amendments.
This agreement may be amended from time to time in the manner hereinafter provided,
but no amendment shall be made which shall impair the right of the holders of any bonds or notes
or other evidences of indebtedness of the regional school district then outstanding, or the rights of
the regional school district to procure the means for payment thereof, provided that nothing in this
section shall prevent the admission of a new town or towns to the regional school district and the
reapportionment accordingly of construction costs of the regional school district represented by
bonds or notes of the regional school district then outstanding and of the interest thereon. A
proposal for amendment may be initiated by a majority vote of all the members of the regional
district school committee or by a petition signed by 10% of the registered voters of any one of the
member towns. In the latter case, the petition shall contain at the end thereof, a certification by
the clerk of the canvassing authority of such member town as to the number of registered voters
in said town according to the most recent voting list and the number of signatures on the petition
which appear to be the names of registered voters of said town. Any such proposal for
amendment shall be presented to the clerk of the regional district school committee, who shall
mail or deliver a notice in writing to the town council of each of the member towns that a
proposal to amend this agreement has been received and shall enclose a copy of such proposal
(without the signatures in the case of a proposal by petition). The school committee shall schedule
an all-day referendum to vote on the adoption of the proposed amendment. The town councils of
the member towns shall thereupon meet to provide for the all-day referendum in the member
towns, with approval of the proposed amendment to be by majority vote of the combined total
vote of the member towns.
Section XII. Employment of teachers and extension of tenure.
All teachers in positions to be superseded by the establishment of the regional district
school shall be given preferred consideration for similar positions in the regional district school to
the extent that such positions exist therein; and any such teacher who on the date of his contract
of employment with the regional school district is on tenure, shall continue thereafter to serve on
a tenure basis.
Sec. XIII. Application of general laws.
The provisions contained in sections 16-3-1 through 16-3-25 inclusive of the general laws
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.