Section 16-1-8.1Classroom instructional support.
(a) For purposes of this section, classroom instructional support means all elements of classroom instructional support as provided in the Foundation Program, with the exception of textbook funds, as specified in Sections 16-6B-10 and 16-13-231, including, but not limited to, library enhancement, student materials, professional development, technology, common purchases, and other classroom instructional support approved by the State Board of Education.
All funds allocated in the Foundation Program for library enhancement, student materials, technology, professional development, and common purchases shall be spent only for the purpose for which they were allocated. Library media specialists shall be consulted in budgeting all library enhancement funds.
(b) The procedures for ordering, and the regulations applying to, classroom instructional support shall be as follows:
(1) BUDGET COMMITTEE. Each school shall have a budget committee. The committee shall be comprised of five members consisting of four teachers and the school's principal, or the principal's designee. The teachers on the committee shall be elected annually by secret ballot by majority vote of the teachers voting at each school. The budget committee shall propose a budget for classroom instructional support, excluding student materials. The proposed budget shall be consistent with the latest plans for professional development and technology developed at the local school level by the principal and faculty and submitted by the local board of education to the State Superintendent of Education pursuant to Section 16-13-231(b)(1)e. The proposed budget shall outline common purchases and shall specify the common items which may be purchased. The proposed budget shall also specify the amount to be allotted for each teacher, if applicable. Any funds allocated by the Legislature for student materials shall be given directly to each teacher as specified in the allocation for use directly in his or her classroom as determined exclusively by the teacher. The committee shall elect a chairperson from among its membership. The committee shall also elect a secretary from its membership who shall be responsible for keeping minutes of the meetings of the budget committee and actions taken to approve the budget during the secret balloting process. The committee may form advisory subcommittees from teachers at the various grade or department levels, or both levels.
(2) APPROVAL BY TEACHERS. The proposed budget from the budget committee shall be submitted to the teachers at an annual meeting. Before any part of any proposed budget is implemented, the teachers at the school, through a majority vote of those voting, shall approve the proposed budget utilizing a secret balloting process. Teachers shall have at least two work days to review the proposed budget before a vote is taken. Any proposed budget which does not receive approval shall be returned to the budget committee for reformulation, taking into consideration the teachers' recommendations offered at the school's annual meeting at the beginning of the school year or at a spring meeting at the end of the scholastic year, or both. If the proposed budget is not approved, the budget committee shall submit another proposed budget for review and consideration by the teachers, and this procedure shall continue until such time as the teachers approve a budget utilizing the procedures of this section. A report on the budget which is approved by a majority vote of the teachers voting shall be transmitted to the local superintendent on uniform forms provided by the State Department of Education.
(3) DUTIES OF LOCAL SUPERINTENDENT. The local superintendent shall submit a notarized affidavit to the State Superintendent of Education. The affidavit shall certify that all funds allocated for classroom instructional support have been properly spent and that all legal requirements have been properly observed and implemented. On the affidavit, the superintendent shall certify the amount of monies expended at each school, delineating the amounts spent for collective purchases and the amounts received by the teachers at each school. The local superintendent shall take care to insure that each teacher employed is able to order and receive his or her allocation of classroom instructional support during each year as provided in this section.
(4) TIMELINESS. Any or all of the funds for classroom instructional support shall be made available to each teacher before December 1. The teacher may order, in whole or in part, his or her allocation anytime during the applicable fiscal year. It is the intent of the Legislature that teachers should have their full allocation of classroom instructional support as soon in the school year as possible in order to promote learning.
(5) PERMISSIBLE EXPENDITURES. Monies allocated for classroom instructional support may be spent for classroom instructional support purposes only, to be used either by classroom teachers or students in each teacher's respective classes. It shall be permissible to expend these monies on instructional equipment and electrical equipment which is actually utilized with students in the teacher's classroom. Funds provided per school for common purchases shall be expended according to the decisions of the local school budget committee.
All monies allocated and expended shall be consistent with the latest plans for professional development and technology developed at the local school level by the principal and the faculty and submitted by the local board of education to the State Superintendent of Education pursuant to Section 16-13-231(b)(1)e.
(6) COMPETITIVE BIDS AND VOUCHERS. Each local board of education may purchase classroom instructional support in bulk pursuant to the state competitive bid law. The board may also authorize each school or individual teachers to purchase materials and supplies, instructional equipment, and electrical equipment for classroom instruction by the voucher system, with no one item exceeding the sum of seven thousand five hundred dollars ($7,500). The local board shall establish and require proper accounting procedures and safeguards for purchases by the voucher system.
(7) POLICIES AND PROCEDURES. Policies and procedures shall be developed and implemented to insure that each teacher receives his or her full allocated amount for classroom instructional support in conjunction with the approved budget in a timely manner after each order is placed. Procedures and policies utilized and adopted to implement this section shall be established and determined prior to the beginning of the school year by each local board with recommendations from the organization representing the majority of employees as provided in Section 16-1-30.
(8) UNSPENT FUNDS. Any funds appropriated for classroom instructional support but not expended according to this section by the end of each fiscal year shall revert to the Education Trust Fund.
(9) PRORATION. In the event proration of the Education Trust Fund is declared by the Governor, each local school system shall nevertheless insure that at least 80 percent of its allocation per teacher for classroom instructional support shall be expended according to this section. No portion of a teacher's classroom instructional support money shall be withheld until and unless the Governor officially declares proration of the Education Trust Fund.
(10) TRANSFER WITH TEACHER DISALLOWED. Classroom instructional support monies are to be expended on behalf of students at a specific school and are not transportable with the teacher if the teacher is transferred to another school.
(11) EXAMINERS OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS. All expenditures for classroom instructional support and related documents by each county and city board of education shall be subject to audit by the Examiners of Public Accounts.
(12) COLLATERAL REFERENCES. References to "instructional supplies" contained in Section 16-6B-10 shall be understood to be the same as "student materials."
(13) Any other provision of this section to the contrary notwithstanding, the budget committee of a school may propose the expenditure of up to one hundred dollars ($100) from the student materials allotment of the school to supplement the common purchases funding appropriated by the Legislature, subject to the approval of the teachers as provided in subdivision (2). When the first annual Education Budget Act after October 1, 2005, appropriates the minimum sum of two hundred dollars ($200) per Foundation Program unit for common purchases, this subdivision becomes inoperative and may not be utilized in subsequent fiscal years.
(Acts 1997, No. 97-934, p. 498, §2; Act 99-389, p. 625, §1; Act 2005-198, p. 394, §1.)