Board Member Vacancy and Appointment Process
To fill a vacant seat between school board elections, a board must first adopt a resolution declaring a vacancy. A board has 60 days to appoint a qualified person to fill the vacancy. If a board fails to appoint within this 60-day period, the board president is authorized to make the appointment. C.R.S. 22-31-129. For more information about this process, see CASB’s legal memo, “Filling a Vacancy on the Board.”
State law does not address how a board should seek out candidates for appointment or what kinds of notice the district must provide to the community before making the appointment. To maximize the chance of finding great candidates, increase community engagement and minimize the risk of public relations trouble, the appointment process should be open and transparent. Prominently include information in district communications about how to apply, publish the board’s resolution declaring a vacancy in local newspapers and make the application process as simple as possible. Interview candidates publicly, read their written submissions carefully and be sure to publicly commend every applicant for his or her interest.
State law prohibits a board from convening in executive session to discuss board applicants, as the appointment of a person to fill a board vacancy is not a “personnel matter” under Colorado’s Open Meetings Law. Voting on appointments must follow a board’s normal voting procedure and cannot be completed by secret ballot.
The appointment must be noted by an appropriate entry in the minutes of the meeting and the board must cause a “certificate of appointment” to be delivered to the person appointed.
Boards of Education in Colorado have an ongoing statutory duty to inform the Colorado Department of Education of any changes to the make-up of the board. C.R.S. 22-32-109(1)(d). After the appointment of a new board member, the school district needs to go into the Data Pipeline Directory and update the board member information.
Please also update CASB! Please update your District Information and your Board Member Information by clicking these links.
Additional CASB resourcesIn addition to the legal memo linked above, CASB’s Member Legal Resources Team developed sample board resolutions and forms concerning the board vacancy and appointment process. To access the memo and related information, please sign in with your CASB username and password. Click here to access.
- Sample notice of board vacancy and request for applications
- Sample board resolution declaring a vacancy - board member resignation
- Sample board resolution declaring a vacancy - board member failure to attend meetings
- Sample board resolution declaring a vacancy - board member death
- Affidavit of applicant, qualifications of office - sample form
- Board interview questions
- Certificate of appointment when board appoints - sample form
- Certificate of appointment when board president appoints - sample form
- Oath of office - sample form
- Confidentiality affidavit - sample form
As always, please contact CASB’s Member Legal Resources for further assistance, 303-832-1000.