Policy Details Page

Regulation No. 1114R
The Board of Directors

•    After the board acknowledges a vacancy, the timeline and process for filling it should be posted in the general news media, district publications and on the district website.  The recommended time for accepting applications is two to three weeks.
•    The announcement should specify that, per RCW 28A.343.340, qualified school board candidates are citizens of the United States and Washington and registered voters who reside in the director district where the vacancy occurs.  
•    As a best practice, the announcement will also include a summary of director responsibilities and a request that candidates fill out an application and submit a cover letter and resume that addresses their training, experience on policy boards and community/school activities. 
•    The application shall ask candidates to identify any potential conflicts of interest.

Screening Candidates for Interview:
•    Board members shall be provided with all candidate application materials. Board members should review each application.
•    At the board’s discretion, the applicants names can be posted on the district website. Application materials (home address, phone numbers and email addresses redacted) can also be posted on the district website and/or produced in public record requests. 
•    Legal Counsel should review candidate application materials for any potential conflicts of interest and may discuss with the candidate in order to advise the board about the potential conflict.
•    Under the guidance of legal counsel, the board may hold an executive session for the purpose of evaluating the qualifications of candidates for appointment per RCW 42.30.110.
•    If the board wishes to further narrow the list of qualified applicants that proceed to  interviews, it must do so by majority vote in an open public meeting per Chapter 42.30, RCW.
•    A board meeting agenda item should allow for board members to move (and second) the name of a candidate forward for interview.

•    Once selected in an open public meeting, the executive assistant to the board should notify the candidates who have been selected for interview as well as notifying those who have not been selected.
•    At this point, the executive assistant to the board should inform selected applicants that their appointment will only be valid until the next odd-numbered year’s school board election, so they will need to prepare to run in that election if they wish to continue serving on the board.  
•    Interviews of qualified candidates will take place in a meeting open to the public.  Candidates may sit in on each other’s interviews per Chapter 42.30, RCW. However, this behavior can be taken into account during the final selection process.
•    It is up to the board’s discretion on how to hold interviews.  A recommendation is:
o    20 minutes for each candidate
o    Candidates are asked to remain outside the interview room and the interiews are recorded but not live-televised.
o    The interview starts with providing the candidate three minutes to describe themselves and why he/she wants to serve on the Tacoma School Board.
o    Each board member asks one question. The same question is asked of each candidate. Possible interview topics include:
    Experience on policy boards or legislative process;
    Describe major strengths of the district;
    Describe major shortcomings of the district;
    Describe how your experience, training, and interest can contribute to the improvement of the districts;
    Identify any commitments which might prevent you from attending regularly scheduled meetings, reviewing study materials, etc.
o    The candidate is provided an opportunity to ask a question if time remains.

Reviewing qualifications displayed during the interview:
•    Under the guidance of legal counsel, the board may hold an executive session for the purpose of evaluating the qualifications of candidates for appointment per RCW 42.30.110.
•    Evaluate means discussing and considering the worth, quality and significance of the applicants’ qualifications.  
•    The board may discuss the qualifications displayed during the interview. However, there should be no “narrowing” of the field of candidates or straw votes.

•    An agenda item should provide for an opportunity for a board member to nominate a candidate for appointment.  If seconded, the motion goes to vote.
•    Per RCW 28A.330.020, the board will approve, by roll call vote of a quorum of the board in an open public meeting, one of the candidates to serve until the next regularly scheduled board election (odd-numbered years), at which time a director will be elected to serve the unexpired term, if any.  
•    If the district cannot fill the vacancy within ninety (90) days from the creation of the vacancy, the ESD board members will fill the vacancy by majority vote. 
•    The executive assistant to the board should send a letter to each applicant thanking them for their interest in the district. 

•    The newly appointed director must take an oath or affirmation to support the constitutions of the United States and the state of Washington and to promote the interests of education and to faithfully discharge the duties of his/her office to the best of his/her ability.
•    A school district officer or notary public must certify the oath and signature of the director.
•    After completion, the signed oath needs to be filed with the county auditor. 

Reference:     RCW 28A.343.340
        RCW 42.30.110
        Miller v. City of Tacoma, 138 Wn.2d 318 (1999)


Adoption Date: 7/23/2020

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