Board Vacancies

As soon as a vacancy occurs on a local board of education, the board has 30 calendar days to fill the vacancy. If a vacancy still exists after 30 days, the vacancy shall then be filled by the intermediate school district (ISD). When a vacancy occurs on an ISD board where members are elected by constituent districts, notice of the vacancy must be filed within 5 days of its occurrence with the state board of education. The state board would then have the responsibility to fill the vacancy if the ISD board does not fill it within 30 days.

When filling a vacancy created by one of the circumstances cited in Section 310 of the Election Code (resignation, death, loss of residency, etc.), boards have the authority to fill the vacancy by appointment as long as a majority of the board offices remain occupied.

Because neither the Revised School Code nor the Election Code dictates the process used by a board in appointing a new member, the method of filling the vacancy should be clearly outlined in a board's bylaws. The procedures adopted by a board, however, must be consistent with the requirements of the Open Meetings Act. When a committee or a board meets to reduce the pool of candidates, the meeting must be open to the public. If a board decides to interview the candidates, the interviews must be conducted during an open session. And, when a board makes its final decision and appoints a person to fill the vacancy, the vote must be taken in such a way that a person attending the open meeting can see how each board member voted.

Within 3 days after the appointment is made, the secretary of the board must notify the school district election coordinator, in writing, of the name, address, and office of the person who vacated the office as well as the person filling the office. The newly appointed board member must file an acceptance of office (within 10 business days after the appointment) and take the oath of office prescribed by law. A copy of the acceptance of office must also be forwarded to the school district election coordinator.

The appointee serves until a successor is elected and qualified to fill out the remainder of the office's unexpired term, if any. The unexpired term is placed on the ballot at the next election unless the vacancy occurs within 90 days of that election, which would result in the appointee serving until the election the following year and the unexpired term is then placed on that ballot.