Franklin Special Education Parents Advisory Council By-Laws
Article I: Name & Mission
The name of this self-governed organization shall be the Franklin Special Education Parents Advisory Council, also known as Franklin SEPAC.
The Mission of the Franklin SEPAC is to promote a network for parents and guardians of children with disabilities and provide a forum of parents, guardians, students and Franklin’s Pupil Personnel Services to share information and discuss matters of relative interest and concern regarding our children. This forum will enable its participants to share information and discuss pertinent issues; to develop, maintain and share tools and resource guides; and to raise awareness of children with disabilities.
The Franklin SEPAC is organized exclusively for charitable and educational purposes, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501c3 of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any federal tax code.
Article II: Purpose and Restrictions
The SEPAC reports to the president of the organization and is responsible for:
Serving as a liaison and communication forum between parents/guardians and the Franklin SEPAC. The Committee’s purpose is realized through planned (parent/guardian) meetings, working committee meetings, and publications of a newsletter.
Serving as a resource and support system (of an informational, educative, counseling or referral source in nature) to parents/guardians.
Assisting in services to the council through support of the president and all appropriate committees.
Coordination and implementation of activities, special programs/project fundraising and community service events which benefit the Franklin SEPAC members consistent with the mission of SEPAC.
Maintaining confidentiality and striving to improve communications and the development of open and cooperative relationships between the Executive Board members, president and parents/guardians.
No SEPAC Committee member shall voice an opinion that represents the Committee without a Committee vote.
The sources of support shall be contributions, interest earned on bank accounts and revenues from fundraising efforts.
All members of the SEPAC are bound by the Franklin SEPAC’s Conflict of Interest Policy:
No part of the net earnings of the Franklin SEPAC shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the Franklin SEPAC shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in the purpose clause hereof.
No substantial part of the activities of the Franklin SEPAC shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the Franklin SEPAC shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this document, the Franklin SEPAC shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by an organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501c3 of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or (b) by an organization, contributions to which are deductible under section 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
Article III: Terms of Membership
a. Membership of the SEPAC working committees shall be comprised of the following:
1. The Executive Board Officers
2. Committee Chairpersons/members
b. Membership of the SEPAC monthly Open Meetings shall be open to any parent, grandparent, or legal guardian of a child that lives in Franklin, MA or attends Franklin Public Schools.
Article IV: Meetings
a. The Franklin SEPAC shall hold at least 8 General Meetings from September through June.
b. Notice of all general meeting dates and elections shall be published (but not limited to) any of the following ways:
1. flyers sent home with the students and/or via the mail
3. monthly newsletters from the principals of each school
4. SEPAC website
5. School websites
6. pamphlets given out at IEP meetings
7. local press
Minutes of all SEPAC meetings shall be recorded and retained for public record.
Article V: Officers and Elections
In accordance with the bylaws, the Executive Board shall consist of at least:
a. Nominations will be made at the April meeting.
b. The Vice President is automatically nominated for the office of President
c Elections shall be the first order of business during the May meeting.
d. Officers shall be elected by paper ballot.
e. Elections shall be decided by a simple majority vote of the voting membership, subject to the presence of a quorum. A quorum shall be at least 2/3rds (rounding down) of the Franklin SEPAC Officers and Committee Chairs.
f. The term of office for Franklin SEPAC Officers shall run from July 1stthrough June 30thof the following year.
g. No person shall serve for more than two consecutive terms in the same office.
h. Family members cannot serve simultaneously on the same executive board.
i. In the event of a vacancy, a special election will be held to fill that vacancy at the next general meeting.
Article VI: Duties of Executive Board and Officers
The duties of each officer shall be as follows. Variations to these duties may be designated at the sole discretion of the Board.
a. Set the agenda for each general meeting.
b. Preside at all meetings of the Franklin SEPAC.
c. Provides guidance and support when necessary to Committee chairpersons.
d. Collect regular updates from committee chairs.
e. Act as liaison with the Director of Student Services.
f. Has the ability to disburse funds up to $250.00 with a phone vote to all Executive Board members and must provide details at the next monthly meeting.
g. Approves use of budgeted funds for Committee chairpersons when appropriate.
h. Inspect books of the treasurer to see that they are being properly kept.
i. Be a signatory on Franklin SEPAC accounts along with the Treasurer.
j. Prepares incoming officers for the upcoming term.
k. Confirms that the Treasurer has filed form 990 with the IRS when the books are closed for the year, or by September 1st.
l. Keep and maintain current by-laws and have them available at all SEPAC meetings.
a. Co-ordinate public communications (if needed), not including those communications that are the Secretary’s.
b. Assist the President as appropriate and perform those responsibilities of the President at his/her request.
c. Has the ability to disburse funds up to $250.00 with a phone vote to all Executive Board members and must provide details at the next monthly meeting.
d. Confirms that the Treasurer has filed form 990 with the IRS when the books are closed for the year, or by September 1st.
e. Be a signatory on SEPAC accounts along with the Treasurer.
a. Record and keep the minutes of each Executive Board and SEPAC meeting and post a copy of the minutes on the SEPAC website.
Present the minutes for approval by the Board at each meeting and post them to the SEPAC website.
Write and distribute special notices.
Files the minutes, a copy of the Certificate of Inc, a copy of these bylaws, and other important documentation pertaining to the SEPAC in a file for future reference.
Assures that all Franklin school principals receive the date, time, location, topic, speaker and details of the next SEPAC meeting so that they can post it in their monthly newsletters.
a. Custodian of all funds of the SEPAC.
b. Maintain an account in a journal of all receipts and expenditures.
c. Monitor monthly expense totals for budget compliance.
d. Give a monthly Treasurer’s Report at each SEPAC meeting.
e. Handle all monies collected at fundraising events.
f. Disburse all funds designated and approved by the SEPAC Board.
g. Have journal and all bankbooks available for inspection at all SEPAC meetings.
h. The treasurer shall file a Form 990, “Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax”, with the IRS after the books are closed for the year or by September 1st.
i. Responsible for filing the annual report with the Secretary of State of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Article VII: Committee Chairpersons
a. The SEPAC Executive Board at the May meeting shall determine core committees for the new term. Additional committees may be added as deemed necessary. Chairpersons shall be appointed on a volunteer basis to head committees deemed necessary by the SEPAC Board. In the event of multiple volunteers, the parties may agree to co-chair, or a vote will be taken at the SEPAC meeting.
b. Each committee is the direct responsibility of the Chairperson. Any concerns should be brought to the attention of the SEPAC Executive Board
a. Responsible for overseeing and implementing the goal work plan of the committee.
b. In the case where money is requested by a committee, the chairperson must present the request at a SEPAC meeting and it must be voted on by the general membership.
c. Obtain approval from the SEPAC Executive Board to hold any fundraisers to benefit the committee.
d. Keep minutes/data regarding committee activities.
e. Prepare and present written status report to the SEPAC at each monthly meeting. In the event the Chairperson will be absent from a monthly meeting, provide the SEPAC with a written report for presentation at the meeting. A delegated Committee member may also present at the meeting.
Article VIII: Voting
a. Voting members consist only of parent, grandparent, or legal guardian of a child that lives in Franklin, MA or attends Franklin Public Schools.
b. Elections shall be decided by a simple majority vote of the voting membership, subject to the presence of a quorum. A quorum shall be at least 2/3rds (rounding down) of the Franklin SEPAC Officers and Committee Chairs.
c. If you cannot be present, an absentee ballot may be requested prior to the meeting. It must be returned by the voting meeting date.
d. A commitment of financial resources over $250 requires a simple majority of voting officers present.
e. Voting will be by paper ballots. The President shall tally the votes.
Article IX: Amendments
a. These Bylaws may be amended by simple majority of the voting members at a general meeting, but Bylaws changes may not be voted upon in the same meeting as they are proposed, unless a quorum (as described in Article V) votes unanimously to approve the change.
b. The Bylaws shall be reviewed at least every two years. The requirements for adoption of a revised set of Bylaws shall be the same as in the case of an amendment.
Article X: Dissolution
If the Franklin SEPAC Board determines by vote that it is necessary to dissolve the Franklin SEPAC after paying all debts, any assets remaining shall be donated to Franklin School Department for enrichment purposes. Or, in the event of reorganization, all monies and assets shall be transferred exclusively to an organization whose purposes are similar to those of this organization and that have an Internal Revenue Service determination or ruling of the tax exemption under Section 501c3.