Composition, term of office — There shall be a school committee which shall consist of 7 members. Six of these members shall be nominated and elected by and from the voters of the town at large. The mayor shall serve, by virtue of office, as the seventh member of the school committee with all of the same powers and duties as the members elected by the voters as school committee members.
Term of office — The term of office for the 6 school committee members elected by the voters shall be for 4 years each, beginning on the first business day of January in the year following their election, and until their successors have been qualified. The terms of office shall be so arranged that 3 terms shall be filled at each regular town election.
Election and term — As soon as practicable after the school committee members-elect have been qualified following each regular town election, under section 8-10, the school committee shall organize by electing 1 of the persons elected to the office of school committee member to serve as school committee chair and 1 of the persons elected to the office of school committee member to serve as school committee vice-chair until the next regular town election.
Powers and duties — The school committee chair shall preside at all meetings of the school committee, regulate its proceedings and shall decide all questions of order. The school committee chair shall appoint all members of all committees of the school committee, whether special or standing. The school committee chair shall have the same powers to vote upon all measures coming before the school committee as any other member of the school committee. The school committee chair shall perform such other duties consistent with the office as may be provided by charter, by ordinance or by other vote of the school committee.
No member of the school committee shall hold any school department office for which a salary or other emolument is payable from the town treasury. No former member of the school committee shall hold any compensated school department office until 1 year after the date on which the member's service on the school committee has terminated.
Salary — The members of the school committee shall not receive a salary for their services.
Expenses — Subject to appropriation and to prior authorization by the school committee, the school committee members shall be entitled to reimbursement of their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.
The school committee shall have all powers which are conferred on school committees by general laws and any additional powers and duties that may be provided by the charter, by ordinance, or otherwise and are not inconsistent with the grant of powers conferred by general laws. The powers and duties of the school committee shall include the following:
To appoint a superintendent of the schools who shall be charged with the day-to-day administration of the school system, subject only to policy guidelines and directives adopted by the school committee and, upon the recommendation of the superintendent, to establish and appoint assistant or associate superintendents as provided in section 59 of chapter 71 of the General Laws;
To make all reasonable rules and regulations for the management of the public school system and for conducting the business of the school committee as may be considered necessary or desirable;
To adopt and to oversee the administration of an annual operating budget for the school department, subject to appropriation by the town council. The school committee shall have general charge and superintendence of all school buildings and grounds and shall furnish all school buildings with proper fixtures, furniture and equipment. The school committee shall provide ordinary maintenance of all school buildings and grounds, but the town council may, by ordinance, provide for the establishment of a central municipal maintenance department which may, subject to the approval of the school committee, include maintenance of school buildings and grounds.
Whenever the school committee shall determine that additional classrooms are necessary to meet the educational needs of the community, at least 1 member of the school committee, or a designee of the school committee, shall serve on the agency, board or committee to which the planning or construction of the new, remodeled or renovated school building is delegated.
Runner-up to succeed to office — If a vacancy shall occur in the office of school committee member, the vacancy shall be filled in descending order of votes received by the candidate for the office of school committee member at the preceding regular town election who received the largest number of votes without being elected, if that person remains eligible and willing to serve and if that person received votes equal to at least 60 per cent of the vote total received by the person receiving the largest number of votes for the office of school committee member at that election. The town clerk shall certify this candidate to the office of school committee member to serve for the balance of the then unexpired term, but, if the vacancy occurs during the first 18 months of the term for which school committee members are elected, the person so chosen shall serve only until the next regular town election at which election the remainder of the term shall be filled by the voters. Persons serving as school committee members, not elected by the voters, shall not be entitled to have the words "candidate for reelection" printed against their names on the ensuing election ballot.
If a vacancy shall occur in the office of school committee member during the last 6 months of the term, the vacancy shall be filled by the person at the regular town election who receives the highest number of votes for the office of school committee member and who is not then serving as a member of the school committee. That person shall immediately be certified and shall serve for the last 2 months of the concluding term in addition to the term for which that person was elected.
Filling of vacancies by School Committee — Whenever a vacancy shall occur in the office of school committee member and there is no available candidate to fill the vacancy in the manner provided in section 4-6(a), the vacancy shall be filled by the remaining members of the school committee. Persons appointed to fill a vacancy by the school committee shall serve only until the next regular town election at which time the vacancy shall be filled by the voters and the person elected to fill the vacancy shall immediately be sworn and shall serve for the remainder of the unexpired term in addition to the term for which elected. Persons serving as school committee members, not elected by the voters, shall not be entitled to have the words "candidate for reelection" printed against their names on the ensuing election ballot.