PURPOSE AND POLICY
It is the purpose of this compact to:
1. Establish and maintain close cooperation and understanding among executive, legislative, professional educational and lay leadership on a nationwide basis at the state and local levels.
2. Provide a forum for the discussion, development, crystallization and recommendation of public policy alternatives in the field of education.
3. Provide a clearinghouse of information on matters relating to educational problems and how they are being met in different places throughout the nation, so that the executive and legislative branches of state government and of local communities may have ready access to the experience and record of the entire country and so that both lay and professional groups in the field of education may have additional avenues for the sharing of experience and the interchange of ideas in the formation of public policy in education.
4. Facilitate the improvement of state and local educational systems so that they will be able to meet adequate and desirable goals in a society which requires continuous qualitative and quantitative advance in educational opportunities, methods and facilities.
It is the policy of this compact to encourage and promote local and state initiative in the development, maintenance, improvement and administration of educational systems and institutions in a manner which will accord with the needs and advantages of diversity among localities and states.
The party states recognize that each has an interest in the quality and quantity of education furnished in each of the other states, as well as in the excellence of its own educational systems and institutions, because of the highly mobile character of individuals within the nation and because the products and services contributing to the health, welfare and economic advancement of each state are supplied in significant part by persons educated in other states.
As used in this compact, "state" means a state, territory or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
The education commission of the states, hereinafter called "the commission," is hereby established. The commission shall consist of seven members representing each party state. Four shall be members of the state legislature, two selected by the president of the senate and two selected by the speaker of the house of representatives and serving in such manner as the legislature may determine and three shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the governor, unless the laws of the state otherwise provide. In addition to any other principles or requirements which a state may establish for the appointment and service of its members of the commission, the guiding principle for the composition of the membership on the commission from each party state shall be that the members representing the state shall, by virtue of their training, experience, knowledge or affiliations, be in a position collectively to reflect broadly the interests of the state government, higher education, the state education system, local education and lay and professional public and nonpublic educational leadership. Of the gubernatorial appointees, one shall be the head of a state agency or institution, designated by the governor, having responsibility for one or more programs of public education. In addition to the members of the commission representing the party states, there may be, not to exceed ten, nonvoting commissioners selected by the steering committee for terms of one year. The nonvoting commissioners shall represent leading national organizations of professional educators or persons concerned with educational administration.
The members of the commission shall be entitled to one vote each on the commission. No action of the commission shall be binding unless taken at a meeting at which a majority of the total number of votes on the commission are cast in favor thereof. Action of the commission shall be only at a meeting at which a majority of the commissioners are present. The commission shall meet at least once a year. In its bylaws, and subject to such directions and limitations as may be contained therein, the commission may delegate the exercise of any of its powers to the steering committee or the executive director, except for the power to approve budgets or requests for appropriations, the power to make policy recommendations pursuant to article IV and adoption of the annual report pursuant to section J of this article.
The commission shall have a seal.
The commission shall elect annually, from among its members, a chairman, who shall be a governor, a vice-chairman and a treasurer. The commission shall provide for the appointment of an executive director. The executive director shall serve at the pleasure of the commission and, together with the treasurer and such other personnel as the commission may deem appropriate, shall be bonded in such amount as the commission shall determine. The executive director shall be the secretary.
Irrespective of the civil service, personnel or other merit system laws of any of the party states, the executive director, subject to the approval of the steering committee, shall appoint, remove or discharge such personnel as may be necessary for the performance of the functions of the commission and shall fix the duties and compensation of such personnel. The commission in its bylaws shall provide for the personnel policies and programs of the commission.
The commission may borrow, accept or contract for the services of personnel from any party jurisdiction, the United States or any subdivision or agency of such governments, or from any agency of two or more of the party jurisdictions or their subdivisions.
The commission may accept for any of its purposes and functions under this compact any and all donations and grants of money, equipment, supplies, materials and services, conditional or otherwise, from any state, the United States or any other governmental agency or from any person, firm, association, foundation or corporation and may receive, utilize and dispose of the same. Any donation or grant accepted by the commission pursuant to this section or services borrowed pursuant to section F of this article shall be reported in the annual report of the commission. The report shall include the nature, amount and conditions of the donation, grant or services borrowed and the identity of the donor or lender.
The commission may establish and maintain such facilities as may be necessary for the transacting of its business. The commission may acquire, hold and convey real and personal property and any interest therein.
The commission shall adopt bylaws for the conduct of its business and shall have the power to amend and rescind such bylaws. The commission shall publish its bylaws in convenient form and shall file a copy of the bylaws and a copy of any amendment to the bylaws with the appropriate agency or officer in each of the party states.
The commission annually shall make to the governor and legislature of each party state a report covering the activities of the commission for the preceding year. The commission may make such additional reports as it may deem desirable.
In addition to authority conferred on the commission by other provisions of the compact, the commission shall have authority to:
1. Collect, correlate, analyze and interpret information and data concerning educational needs and resources.
2. Encourage and foster research in all aspects of education, but with special reference to the desirable scope of instruction, organization, administration and instructional methods and standards employed or suitable for employment in public educational systems.
3. Develop proposals for adequate financing of education as a whole and at each of its many levels.
4. Conduct or participate in research of the types referred to in this article in any instance where the commission finds that such research is necessary for the advancement of the purposes and policies of this compact, utilizing fully the resources of national associations, regional compact organizations for higher education and other agencies and institutions, both public and private.
5. Formulate suggested policies and plans for the improvement of public education as a whole, or for any segment of public education, and make recommendations with respect thereto available to the appropriate governmental units, agencies and public officials.
6. Do such other things as may be necessary or incidental to the administration of any of its authority or functions pursuant to this compact.
COOPERATION WITH FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
If the laws of the United States specifically so provide, or if administrative provision is made therefore within the federal government, the United States may be represented on the commission by not to exceed ten representatives. Any representative or representatives of the United States shall be appointed and serve in such manner as may be provided by or pursuant to federal law and may be drawn from any one or more branches of the federal government, but no such representative shall have a vote on the commission.
The commission may provide information and make recommendations to any executive or legislative agency or officer of the federal government concerning the common educational policies of the states and may advise with any such agencies or officers concerning any matter of mutual interest.
To assist in the expeditious conduct of its business when the full commission is not meeting, the commission shall elect a steering committee of thirty-two members which, subject to the provisions of this compact and consistent with the policies of the commission, shall be constituted and function as provided in the bylaws of the commission. One-fourth of the voting membership of the steering committee shall consist of governors, one-fourth shall consist of legislators and the remainder shall consist of other members of the commission. A federal representative on the commission may serve with the steering committee, but without vote. The voting members of the steering committee shall serve for terms of two years, except that members elected to the first steering committee of the commission shall be elected as follows: sixteen for one year and sixteen for two years. The chairman, vice-chairman and treasurer of the commission shall be members of the steering committee and, anything in this section to the contrary notwithstanding, shall serve during their continuance in these offices. Vacancies in the steering committee shall not affect its authority to act, but the commission at its next regularly ensuing meeting following the occurrence of any vacancy shall fill it for the unexpired term. No person shall serve more than two terms as a member of the steering committee, provided that service for a partial term of one year or less shall not be counted toward the two term limitation.
The commission may establish advisory and technical committees composed of state, local and federal officials and private persons to advise it with respect to any one or more of its functions. Any advisory or technical committee may, on request of the states concerned, be established to consider any matter of special concern to two or more of the party states.
The commission may establish such additional committees as its bylaws may provide.
The commission shall advise the governor or designated officer or officers of each party state of its budget and estimated expenditures for such period as may be required by the laws of that party state. Each of the commissioner's budgets of estimated expenditures shall contain specific recommendations of the amount or amounts to be appropriated by each of the party states.
The total amount of appropriation requests under any budget shall be apportioned among the party states. In making the apportionment, the commission shall devise and employ a formula which takes equitable account of the populations and per capita income levels of the party states.
The commission shall not pledge the credit of any party state. The commission may meet any of its obligations in whole or in part with funds available to it pursuant to article III, section G of this compact, provided that the commission takes specific action setting aside such funds prior to incurring an obligation to be met in whole or in part in such manner. Except where the commission makes use of funds available to it pursuant to article III, section G, the commission shall not incur any obligation prior to the allotment of funds by the party states adequate to meet the same.
The commission shall keep accurate accounts of all receipts and disbursements. The receipts and disbursements of the commission shall be subject to the audit and accounting procedures established by its bylaws. All receipts and disbursements of funds handled by the commission shall be audited yearly by a qualified public accountant, and the report of the audit shall be included in and become part of the annual reports of the commission.
The accounts of the commission shall be open at any reasonable time for inspection by duly constituted officers of the party states and by any persons authorized by the commission.
Nothing contained herein shall be construed to prevent commission compliance with laws relating to audit or inspection of accounts by or on behalf of any government contributing to the support of the commission.
ELIGIBLE PARTIES; ENTRY INTO AND WITHDRAWAL
This compact shall have as eligible parties all states, territories and possessions of the United States, the District of Columbia and the commonwealth of Puerto Rico. In respect of any such jurisdiction not having a governor, the term "governor," as used in this compact, shall mean the closest equivalent official of such jurisdiction.
Any state or other eligible jurisdiction may enter into this compact, and it shall become binding when it has adopted the compact.
Any party state may withdraw from this compact by enacting a statute repealing the compact. No withdrawal shall affect any liability already incurred by or chargeable to a party state prior to the time of such withdrawal.
CONSTRUCTION AND SEVERABILITY
The provisions of this compact shall be severable and if any phrase, clause, sentence or provision of this compact is declared to be contrary to the constitution of any state or of the United States, or if the application thereof to any government, agency, person or circumstance is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this compact and the applicability of the compact to any government, agency, person or circumstance shall not be affected thereby. If this compact shall be held contrary to the constitution of any state participating therein, the compact shall remain in full force and effect as to the state affected as to all severable matters.