KBS Reference Desk: Authority to Create New Position

Q:       We have one Assistant Superintendent and she just resigned. I would like to eliminate the position and use the funds to create two new director posts. Does the Board have to take action to create the director positions prior to advertising the vacancies?

 A:        Not likely. Because the Superintendent has specific authority to organize the district’s central administration and because the funding for the new positions is contemplated in the current budget, no board action is necessary. However, if the director positions will require additional resources not otherwise allocated, a budget amendment will be required.

 Texas Education Code section 11.201 defines the Superintendent’s duties and includes specific authority to “organiz[e] the district’s central administration.” As such, the Superintendent can create any position needed to effectively manage the school district. However, the creation of any position must also be a component of the school district’s budget. Texas Education Code section 11.1511(7) charges the Board of Trustees with adopting an annual budget for the school district. Therefore, funding for all positions must be contemplated during the budget approval process. Typically, this includes identification of the position or like-position(s) in the district’s compensation plan. In the scenario above, the position of Assistant Superintendent may be eliminated by the Superintendent and replaced with two new director positions without necessitating Board action, so long as the budget approved by the Board includes adequate funding for the district’s total administrative personnel costs. Should additional resources need to be allocated, a budget amendment would be required. Similarly, if the Board previously adopted a compensation plan or organizational chart (not required, but some do), revised versions contemplating the reorganization should be presented for approval.

Contact your local school district attorney with additional questions pertaining to a superintendent’s authority to organize central office and other compensation questions.

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