3313.83 Regional student education districts.

(A)

(1) For the purpose of pooling resources, operating more cost effectively, minimizing administrative overhead, encouraging the sharing of resource development, and diminishing duplication, the boards of education of two or more city, local, or exempted village school districts each having a majority of its territory in a county with a population greater than one million two hundred thousand, by adopting identical resolutions, may enter into an agreement providing for the creation of a regional student education district for the purpose of funding the following for students enrolled in those school districts, including students diagnosed as autistic and students with special needs, and their immediate family members:

(a) Special education services;

(b) Behavioral health services for persons with special needs.

If more than eight boards of education adopt resolutions to form a regional student education district, the boards may meet at facilities of the educational service center of the county to discuss membership in the district.

(2) The territory of a regional student education district at any time shall be composed of the combined territories of the school districts that are parties to the agreement at that time. Services funded by a regional student education district shall be available to all individuals enrolled in a school district that is a part of the regional student education district and members of their immediate family.

(3) The agreement may be amended pursuant to terms and procedures mutually agreed to by the boards of education that are parties to the agreement.

(B) Each regional student education district shall be governed by a board of directors. The superintendent of each board of education that is a party to the agreement shall serve on the board of directors. The agreement shall provide for the terms of office of directors. Directors shall receive no compensation, but shall be reimbursed, from the special fund of the regional student education district, for the reasonable and necessary expenses they incur in the performance of their duties for the district. The agreement shall provide for the conduct of the board's initial organizational meeting and for the frequency of subsequent meetings and quorum requirements. At its first meeting, the board shall designate from among its members a president and secretary in the manner provided in the agreement.

The board of directors of a regional student education district is a body corporate and politic, is capable of suing and being sued, is capable of contracting within the limits of this section and the agreement governing the district, and is capable of accepting gifts, donations, bequests, or other grants of money for use in paying its expenses. The district is a public office and its directors are public officials within the meaning of section 117.01 of the Revised Code, the board of directors is a public body within the meaning of section 121.22 of the Revised Code, and records of the board and of the district are public records within the meaning of section 149.43 of the Revised Code.

The agreement shall require the board to designate a permanent location for its offices and meeting place, and may provide for the use of such facilities and property for the provision of services by the agencies with which the board contracts under division (C) of this section.

(C)

(1) To provide the services identified in division (A)(1) of this section, the board of directors of a regional student education district shall provide for the hiring of employees or shall contract with one or more entities. Except as provided in division (C)(2) of this section, any entity with which the board of directors contracts to provide the services identified in division (A)(1)(b) of this section shall be a qualified nonprofit, nationally accredited agency to which both of the following apply:

(a) The agency is licensed or certified by the departments of mental health and addiction services and job and family services.

(b) The agency provides school-based behavioral health services.

(2) The board of directors may contract with an entity that does not meet the conditions stated in division (C)(1) of this section if the services to be provided by the entity are only incidental to the services identified in division (A)(1)(b) of this section.

(3) The board of directors may levy a tax throughout the district as provided in section 5705.2111 of the Revised Code. The board of directors shall provide for the creation of a special fund to hold the proceeds of any tax levied under section 5705.2111 of the Revised Code and any gifts, donations, bequests, or other grants of money coming into the possession of the district. A regional student education district is a subdivision, and the board of directors is a governing body, within the meaning of section 135.01 of the Revised Code. The board of directors may not issue securities or otherwise incur indebtedness.

(4) The adoption or rejection by electors of a tax levy to fund a regional student education district pursuant to section 5705.2111 of the Revised Code does not alter the duty of each school district member of the regional student education district to provide special education and related services as required under Chapter 3323. of the Revised Code. On the expiration of a regional student education district levy, the state, member school districts of the regional student education district, and any other governmental entity shall not be obligated to provide replacement funding for the revenues under the expired levy. The tax levy, in whole or in part, shall not be considered a levy for current operating expenses pursuant to division (A) of section 3317.01 of the Revised Code for any of the school districts that are members of the regional student education district.

(D)

(1) The agreement shall provide for the manner of appointing an individual or entity to perform the duties of fiscal officer of the regional student education district. The agreement shall specify the length of time the individual or entity shall perform those duties and whether the individual or entity may be reappointed upon the completion of a term. The fiscal officer may receive compensation for performing the duties of the position and be reimbursed for reasonable expenses of performing those duties from the regional student education district's special fund.

(2) The legal advisor of the board of directors of a regional student education district shall be the prosecuting attorney of the most populous county containing a school district that is a member of the regional student education district. The prosecuting attorney shall prosecute all actions against a member of the board of directors for malfeasance or misfeasance in office and shall be the legal counsel for the board and its members in all other actions brought by or against them and shall conduct those actions in the prosecuting attorney's official capacity. No compensation in addition to the prosecuting attorney's regular salary shall be allowed.

(E) The board of directors of a regional student education district shall procure a policy or policies of insurance insuring the board, the fiscal officer, and the legal representative against liability on account of damage or injury to persons and property. Before procuring such insurance the board shall adopt a resolution setting forth the amount of insurance to be purchased, the necessity of the insurance, and a statement of its estimated premium cost. Insurance procured pursuant to this section shall be from one or more recognized insurance companies authorized to do business in this state. The cost of the insurance shall be paid from the district's special fund.

A regional student education district is a political subdivision within the meaning of section 2744.01 of the Revised Code.

(F)

(1) The board of education of a school district having a majority of its territory in the county may join an existing regional student education district by adopting a resolution requesting to join as a party to the agreement and upon approval by the boards of education that currently are parties to the agreement. If a tax is levied in the regional student education district under section 5705.2111 of the Revised Code, a board of education may join the district only after a majority of qualified electors in the school district voting on the question vote in favor of levying the tax throughout the school district. A board of education joining an existing district shall have the same powers, rights, and obligations under the agreement as other boards of education that are parties to the agreement.

(2) A board of education that is a party to an agreement under this section may withdraw the school district from a regional student education district by adopting a resolution. The withdrawal shall take effect on the date provided in the resolution. If a tax is levied in the regional student education district under section 5705.2111 of the Revised Code, the resolution shall take effect not later than the first day of January following adoption of the resolution. Beginning with the first day of January following adoption of the resolution, any tax levied under section 5705.2111 of the Revised Code shall not be levied within the territory of the withdrawing school district. Any collection of tax levied in the territory of the withdrawing school district under that section that has not been settled and distributed when the resolution takes effect shall be credited to the district's special fund.

(G) An agreement entered into under this section shall provide for the manner of the regional student education district's dissolution. The district shall cease to exist when not more than one school district remains in the district, and the levy of any tax under section 5705.2111 of the Revised Code shall not be extended on the tax lists in any tax year beginning after the dissolution of the district. The agreement shall provide that, upon dissolution of the district, any unexpended balance in the district's special fund shall be divided among the school districts that are parties to the agreement immediately before dissolution in proportion to the taxable valuation of taxable property in the districts, and credited to their respective general funds.

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 25, HB 59, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2013.

Added by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §101.01, eff. 10/16/2009.

Effective Date: 09-26-2003