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SECTION 2553
Board of education; eligibility; how chosen; term of office; vacancies
Education (EDN) CHAPTER 16, TITLE 2, ARTICLE 52
§ 2553. Board of education; eligibility; how chosen; term of office;
vacancies. 1. No person shall be eligible to the office of member of a
board of education who is not a citizen of the United States, who is not
qualified to register for or vote at an election in accordance with the
provisions of section 5-106 of the election law, and who, in the case of
the city school district of the city of Yonkers, has not been a resident
of the city school district for which he is chosen for a period of at
least three years immediately preceding the date of his election or
appointment and who, in the case of the city school district of the city
of Buffalo, in the case of a member to be elected at large is not a
qualified voter of such city school district and who has not been a
resident of such district for a period of at least three years
immediately preceding the date of his election and in the case of a
member elected from a city school subdistrict is not a qualified voter
of such city school subdistrict and has not been a resident of the city
school district for three years and a resident of the city school
subdistrict which he represents or seeks to represent for a period of
one year immediately preceding the date of his election, and who, in the
case of the city school district of the city of Rochester, is not a
qualified voter under section 5-102 of the election law of such city
school district; and who in the case of the city school district of the
city of Syracuse has not been a qualified voter under section 5-102 of
the election law of such city school district for at least ninety days
immediately preceding the date of his election or appointment.

2. In the city school districts of the cities of Rochester and
Syracuse the members of such board of education shall be chosen by the
voters at large at either a general or municipal election, or at both.
In the city school district of the city of Buffalo the members of such
board of education shall be chosen pursuant to the provisions of
subdivision ten of this section.

3. In the city school district of the city of Yonkers members of the
board of education shall be appointed from the city at large by the
mayor and shall be for terms of five years each, to begin on the first
Tuesday in May.

4. In the city school districts of the following cities, the terms of
such members shall be as follows:

a. Rochester: Four Years;

b. Syracuse: Four Years;

c. Yonkers: Five Years.

5. The terms of one-fifth of all the members of a board of education,
or of a fraction as close to one-fifth thereof as possible, shall expire
annually on the first Tuesday in May, except in the city school
districts of the cities of Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse.

6. If a vacancy occurs other than by expiration of term in the office
of a member of a board of education in a district in which such members
are elected at a general or municipal election, such vacancy shall be
filled by appointment by the mayor until the next general or municipal
election is held, and such vacancy shall then be filled at such election
for the unexpired portion of such term, except that in the city school
district of the city of Rochester any such vacancy shall be filled
pursuant to the provisions of subdivision nine of this section and
except further that any such vacancy on the board of education of the
city school district of the city of Buffalo shall be filled pursuant to
the provisions of subdivision ten of this section.

7. If such vacancy occurs in such office in a district in which the
members of the board of education are appointed by the mayor, such
vacancy shall be filled by appointment by the mayor of such city for the
unexpired portion of such term, but in Buffalo such appointment shall be
subject to confirmation by the council.

8. A member of a board of education who publicly declares that he will
not accept or serve in the office of member of such board of education,
or refuses or neglects to attend three successive meetings of such
board, of which he is duly notified, without rendering a good and valid
excuse therefor to the other members of such board of education, vacates
his office by refusal to serve.

9. (a) The members of the board of education of the city school
district of the city of Rochester shall be elected by the qualified
voters of such city as provided herein.

(b) The members of the board of education shall be elected at large
throughout the city by the qualified voters at a general election.

* (c) Such elections for such officers shall be governed by the
provisions of the election law in the same manner as candidates for
office generally to be elected by the voters of the city of Rochester;
provided, however, that each such candidate shall be required to file
petitions containing at least three hundred signatures.

* NB Effective until December 31, 2021

* (c) Such elections for such officers shall be governed by the
provisions of the election law in the same manner as candidates for
office generally to be elected by the voters of the city of Rochester;
provided, however, that each such candidate shall be required to file
petitions containing at least one thousand signatures.

* NB Effective December 31, 2021

(d) No person shall be eligible for the office of members of such
board of education who is not a qualified voter under section 5-102 of
the election law of such city school district. No person shall hold at
the same time the office of member of the board of education and any
other elective office nor shall he be a candidate for any other elective
office at the same time he is a candidate for the office of member of
such board of education.

(e) The term of office of each member of such board shall be four
years, commencing on the first day of January following his election.
The candidates receiving a plurality of the votes cast respectively for
the several offices shall be declared elected. Where more than one
office is to be filled by such election and there is a variance in the
length of the terms, the candidate receiving the largest number of votes
shall be entitled to the longest term and the candidates receiving the
next highest number of votes shall be entitled, in decreasing order of
the respective number of votes to the several offices, in decreasing
order of the length of such terms or unexpired portions of terms.
Whenever a vacancy shall occur or exist in the office of member of the
board of education except by reason of expiration of term, such vacancy
shall be filled by the president of the board of education by
appointment of a nominee of the members of the board of education of the
same political affiliation as the person who vacated the office and such
nominee shall be elected by the majority vote of the board of education;
if the board shall not have filled the vacancy within thirty days from
the date the vacancy occurred, then the president of the board shall
fill the vacancy from the same political party as that of the person who
vacated the office. However, if the vacancy shall occur in the office of
member of the board of education filled by an incumbent elected on a
non-partisan or an independent basis, such vacancy shall be filled,
after nomination by the president of the board of education, by majority
vote of the remaining members of the board of education. A person
appointed to fill a vacancy shall hold office to and including the
thirty-first day of December next succeeding the first general election
following such vacancy, at which a successor must be elected for the
remainder of the unexpired term, if any.

(f) The members so elected to the board of education shall convene on
the first business day in January of each year at the time of the
commencement of their term of office and select from their members a
president who shall serve for a term of one year or such other term, not
exceeding the term of his office, as may be fixed by the rules and
regulations of the board.

(g) The election of members of the board of education of the school
district of Rochester shall take place at a general election to be held
in such city when an incumbent's term expires, and the first election
hereinunder shall take place in November of nineteen hundred eighty-one.
Such election shall be conducted by the board of elections of the county
of Monroe in the same manner as general elections are conducted by it.
The results of such elections, after canvassing, shall be certified and
reported by the board of elections to the board of education of such
city. The clerk or other appropriate officer of the board of education
shall within twenty-four hours after the receipt of such certification
by the board of elections serve a written notice either personally or by
mail upon each person declared to be elected as a member of the board of
education informing him of his election and the length of his term.

(h) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, the present
members of said board of education shall serve the full terms for which
they were elected. Vacancies which may occur in the board shall be
filled as provided herein, except, that the vacancies created by the
expansion of the board of education from five to seven members, as
provided herein, shall be filled at the next general election.

10. a. The members of the board of education of the city school
district of the city of Buffalo shall be elected by the qualified voters
of such city as provided herein.

b. The common council of the city of Buffalo shall within three months
of the operative date of this paragraph of this section of this act
define and publish by local law boundaries of each of six city school
subdistricts which said subdistricts shall be contiguous and each of
which shall contain as nearly as possible the same number of
inhabitants. The boundaries of the said city school subdistricts may
thereafter be redefined by the board of education of the city school
district of the city of Buffalo by resolution, after a public hearing
thereon, at intervals of not less than five years and such resolution
must be passed at least eight months prior to the next election for
school board member or members.

c. The members of the board of education of the city school district
of the city of Buffalo shall be elected as follows: one member from each
of such six city school subdistricts within such city by the qualified
voters therein and three members of such board of education shall be
chosen by the qualified voters at large within such city.

d. * (1) Such election for such office shall be governed by the
provisions of the election law in the same manner as candidates for
office generally to be elected by the voters of the city of Buffalo.
Notwithstanding section 6-142 of the election law, each such candidate
for election as a member of the board of education from a city school
subdistrict shall be required to file a petition containing signatures
of at least three hundred registered voters of such city school
subdistrict in which he is a candidate and each candidate for election
to the board of education by the voters at large shall be required to
file a petition containing the signatures of at least three hundred
registered voters of the city of Buffalo.

* NB Effective until December 31, 2021

* (1) Such election for such office shall be governed by the
provisions of the election law in the same manner as candidates for
office generally to be elected by the voters of the city of Buffalo.
Notwithstanding section 6-142 of the election law, each such candidate
for election as a member of the board of education from a city school
subdistrict shall be required to file a petition containing signatures
of at least five hundred registered voters of such city school
subdistrict in which he is a candidate and each candidate for election
to the board of education by the voters at large shall be required to
file a petition containing the signatures of at least one thousand
registered voters of the city of Buffalo.

* NB Effective December 31, 2021

(2) No petition shall contain any political party or independent body
name or label. Each petition shall contain the name of only one
candidate and such petition shall be filed with the board of elections
of the county of Erie not earlier than twenty-four weeks before, and not
later than twenty-three weeks preceding the date on which an election
shall be held. A certificate of acceptance or declination of any
individual so nominated shall be filed not later than the third day
after the twenty-third Tuesday preceding the election.

e. No person shall hold at the same time the office of member of the
board of education of the city of Buffalo and any other elective office
nor shall he be a candidate for any other elective office at the same
time he is a candidate for the office of member of such board of
education.

f. Petitions for the nomination of members of such school board shall
be on white paper containing the required signatures of qualified voters
of the city of Buffalo. The sheets of such petition shall be numbered
consecutively, beginning with number one, at the foot of each sheet.
Such a petition must set forth in every instance the correct date of
signing, the full name of the signer and his or her residence. A signer
need only place his or her signature upon the petition, and need not
himself or herself fill in the other required information.

g. Each sheet of such a petition shall be signed in ink and shall be
substantially in the following form:

I, the undersigned, do hereby state that I am a duly qualified voter
of the city of Buffalo, that my place of residence is truly stated
opposite my signature hereto, and I do hereby nominate the following
named person as a candidate for nomination (for the public office of
member of the board of education of the city of Buffalo at
large..............day of...................., 20.....,) (for the city
school subdistrict.............day of........, 20.....)

I do hereby appoint........................(here insert the names and
addresses of at least three persons, all of whom shall be registered
voters within the city of Buffalo), as a committee to fill vacancies in
accordance with the provisions of the election law.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand the day and year
placed opposite my signature.

Date Name of Signer Present Residence
.............. .................. ....................
.............. .................. ....................
.............. .................. ....................

The petition shall be authenticated by witnesses. Such statement shall
be accepted for all purposes as the equivalent of an affidavit, and if
false shall subject the witness to the same penalties as if he or she
had been duly sworn. The form of such statement shall be substantially
as follows:

STATEMENT OF WITNESS

I,...................., (name of witness), state: I am a duly
qualified voter of the state of New York, and now reside in the city,
town or village of..............., in such state, at
........................(fill in street and house number and post office)
therein. I know each of the voters whose names are subscribed to this
petition sheet containing (fill in number).............signatures and
each of them subscribed the same in my presence and upon so subscribing
declared to me that the foregoing statement, made and subscribed by him,
was true.

.....................

Signature of witness
Date...........

h. The board of elections shall refuse to accept such petitions signed
by an insufficient number of qualified voters, or petitions which are
not timely or petitions bearing a political party or independent body,
name or emblem or which contain the name of more than one candidate.

i. Except as it may be modified by the provisions of paragraph (d) and
paragraph (n) of this subdivision, the provisions of the election law
with respect to acceptances by candidates nominated by independent
nominating petitions shall apply to candidates nominated by petitions
for members of such board of education.

j. Objections to petitions for the nomination of members of such board
of education, procedures and remedies applicable to such objections
shall be made pursuant to section 6-154 of the election law.

k. The board of elections shall cause to be printed official ballots
containing the names of all candidates as above provided, except that
the board may refuse to have the names of ineligible candidates placed
on such ballots. The names of the candidates shall be arranged according
to lot, and shall not bear the designation of any political party or
independent body, name or emblem. Blank spaces shall be provided so that
voters may vote for candidates who have not been nominated for the
offices to be filled at such elections. The form of such ballots shall
conform substantially to the form of ballots used at general elections
as prescribed in the election law.

l. Voting for the election of members of such board of education shall
be by voting machine and shall be governed by the applicable provisions
of the election law with respect to voting machines.

m. If a candidate, after a petition in his behalf shall have been duly
filed with the board of elections, and prior to the date of the
election, shall decline to accept the nomination, die, remove from the
school district, accept another office, or become otherwise disqualified
for such city school district office, such vacancy shall be filled by
the committee on vacancies pursuant to the election law.

n. The term of office of each member of such board from a city school
subdistrict shall be three years, and the term of office of each such
member of the board elected at large shall be for five years. Of the
candidates to be elected for membership on the board of education of the
city school district of the city of Buffalo by the voters at large the
three candidates receiving the largest number of votes cast in the city,
shall be declared elected as at-large members of such board of
education. In each city school subdistrict the candidates seeking the
election as the member of such board of education for such city school
subdistrict receiving a plurality of votes in such city school
subdistrict shall be declared elected to that position.

Whenever a vacancy shall occur or exist in the office of member of the
board of education except by reason of expiration of term or increase in
the number of members of such board, such vacancy shall be filled by a
majority vote of the remaining members of the board of education within
thirty days of the date when such vacancy shall have occurred. If the
remaining members of the board of education shall fail to fill such
vacancy within such thirty day period, then the mayor of the city of
Buffalo shall within thirty days thereafter fill such vacancy subject to
the confirmation of such appointment by the common council of the city
of Buffalo. No one shall be appointed to fill a vacancy of a subdistrict
member of the board of education unless he fulfills all of the
qualifications in this subdivision to enable him to be a candidate for
the office of a member of the board of education from the subdistrict
involved.

o. The members so elected to the board of education shall convene on
the first business day in January of each year, at the time of the
commencement of their term of office and select from their members a
president who shall serve for a term of one year or such other term, not
exceeding the term of his office, as may be fixed by the rules and
regulations of the board.

p. The election of members of the board of education of the school
district of the city of Buffalo shall take place on the first Tuesday
after the first Monday in November in each year in which an incumbent's
term expires. Such election shall be conducted by the board of elections
of the county of Erie in the same manner as other elections are
conducted by it. The results of such elections, after canvassing, shall
be certified and reported by the board of elections to the board of
education of such city. The clerk or other appropriate officer of the
board of education shall within twenty-four hours after receipt of such
certification by the board of elections serve a written notice either
personally or by mail upon each person declared to be elected as a
member of the board of education informing him of his election and the
length of his term.