TSBA Delegate Assembly
What is TSBA’s Delegate Assembly?
During TSBA’s Annual Convention in November, board members have the opportunity to shape TSBA’s message and provide direction for the Association through the Delegate Assembly. The Delegate Assembly plays a vital role in the governance of TSBA. Delegates are appointed by individual school boards and share the following responsibilities:
- Electing TSBA officers;
- Approving the annual and long range plans of the Association;
- Adopting amendments to TSBA’s Constitution and Bylaws and Position Statements; and
- Taking action on submitted resolutions, which will serve as the framework in developing TSBA’s legislative agenda for the upcoming year
TSBA’s Constitution and Bylaws
A significant amount of work and deliberation takes place prior to the Delegate Assembly each year. The Constitution and Bylaws Committee, appointed annually by the President, studies and recommends to the Board of Directors any proposed changes to the Constitution and Bylaws. Any TSBA member may propose an amendment to the Constitution and Bylaws by submitting such amendments to the Executive Director at least 45 days prior to the meeting of the Delegate Assembly. In order to be adopted, amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws require a two-thirds majority of those delegates present and voting.
In addition to suggested changes to the Constitution and Bylaws, boards can submit resolutions and proposed changes to the TSBA Position Statements. Resolutions request the General Assembly, Congress, a state or federal agency, and/or the Governor to take a specific action. They must contain a clear request and rationale. Resolutions adopted by the Delegate Assembly are effective for one year.
Before submitting a resolution, the board should consider whether the proposal has statewide importance and its impact on other school districts. Once the board decides to submit a resolution, it should assign one board member to be the primary author to ensure the needed requirements are included. Each resolution should only address one specific issue. It must also include a “be it resolved” clause and rationale.
The “be it resolved” statement is the most important part of a resolution because it will be included in TSBA’s legislative agenda for the year. A sound “be it resolved” statement does the following:
- States the topic and the action called for;
- Be fully understood as a stand-alone statement;
- Contain a single issue; and
- Be specific enough to get your point across.
The rationale statements should paint a picture of why the resolution should be addressed by the Delegate Assembly. These statements offer an explanation of what the “be it resolved” statement is intended to address. The rationale should:
- Describe the problem or the need for action;
- Explain how the “be it resolved” statement will correct the problem;
- Address the timeliness or urgency with its effects on school districts; and
- Provide reasonable support in a logical order.
TSBA’s Position Statements
TSBA’s Position Statements outline the priorities and views of the Association. These statements guide TSBA in its initiatives and legislative actions. Adopted statements are effective until amended or deleted. TSBA’s Constitution and Bylaws outline the structure of the Association while detailing its purpose, meetings, and officers.
How do recommendations and proposals come before the Delegate Assembly?
A significant amount of work and deliberation takes place prior to the Delegate Assembly each year. Before the officers of the Association are elected by the delegates, a nine-member nominating committee, appointed by the TSBA President and chaired by the Immediate Past President, receives nominations from local boards and makes recommendations.
Nominations for TSBA officers must be submitted by member boards to the TSBA office no later than 45 days prior to the meeting of the Delegate Assembly. Additional nominations from member school boards may be made at the opening session of the Delegate Assembly by preparing and disseminating to the President of the Association pertinent biographical information as well as a signed letter from each nominee confirming a willingness to serve.
Proposed resolutions and position statements must be submitted in writing to the Executive Director at least 45 days prior to the meeting of Delegate Assembly. Resolutions and position statements must be considered by the TSBA Board of Directors prior to the Delegate Assembly, unless the Delegate Assembly by a two-thirds majority of those present, votes to consider a proposal offered from the floor. Adoption of position statements and resolutions requires a simple majority of those delegates present and voting.
TSBA encourages boards to discuss local priorities and review the Constitution and Bylaws and Position Statements. Boards can then choose to submit Resolutions or proposed changes to the Position Statements and/or Constitution and Bylaws. Please see below to submit a change to the Constitution and Bylaws, Position Statements, or propose a resolution.
Who is eligible to vote at the Delegate Assembly?
Each local board of education that holds membership in TSBA may select delegates from its board to attend the Delegate Assembly and serve as voting members. The number of delegates that each board may designate is specified in Article IX of TSBA’s Constitution and Bylaws and determined by the student population of the school district as follows:
|Net Enrollment of School District||Number of Delegates|
|Less than 2,000||2|
|2,000 to 5,000||3|
|5,001 to 10,000||4|
|10,001 to 20,000||6|
|20,001 to 40,000||7|
|More than 40,000||9|
At the time of registration, each local board must submit the names of delegates and alternates.
What are the powers and responsibilities of the Delegate Assembly?
The Delegate Assembly plays a vital role in the governance of TSBA. Each delegate shares in this responsibility by electing TSBA officers; approving the annual and long range plans of the Association; adopting amendments to TSBA’s Constitution and Bylaws and Position Statements; and taking action on submitted resolutions, which will serve as the framework in developing TSBA’s legislative agenda for the upcoming year. Authorized by the Delegate Assembly, the TSBA Board of Directors serves as the policy making body of the Association and must act in accordance with the actions of the Delegate Assembly.
How is the business of the Delegate Assembly conducted?
The meeting of the Delegate Assembly is conducted in a large room, with delegates seated at tables labeled with signs bearing the name of their local school districts. Seated on the platform at the front of the room are the President, who serves as chair of the Delegate Assembly; other TSBA officers; the Executive Director of TSBA; and other staff as deemed appropriate to keep the minutes and provide assistance.
The Credentials Committee is charged with ensuring each board member voting in the Delegate Assembly is a certified delegate. Each delegate is given an official TSBA delegate ribbon prior to the meeting that must be presented to a member of the Credentials Committee before admittance into the voting area. The Credentials Committee is also responsible for maintaining order and, if necessary, counting delegate votes on proposed measures, which may be signified by the raising of voting cards provided to each member of the Delegate Assembly.
The Delegate Assembly operates under Robert’s Rules of Order Revised. Additional rules may apply as adopted by the Delegate Assembly.
How can delegates prepare for the meeting?
At least 20 days prior to the meeting, TSBA will provide each voting delegate with a Delegate Assembly Handbook. This handbook includes the agenda and supporting materials for the business meeting, including information on proposed position statements and resolutions as well as amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws. The handbook also contains committee reports, information on TSBA officer nominees and the rules for the Delegate Assembly, which will be used to guide discussion during the meeting.