Constitution & Bylaws

Maryland State Unit of the Council for Exceptional Children
Constitution and By-Laws

Contents
ARTICLE I -- NAME
ARTICLE II -- PURPOSES
ARTICLE III -- MEMBERSHIP
ARTICLE IV -- ORGANIZATION
ARTICLE V -- ASSESSMENTS AND DUES
ARTICLE VI -- OFFICERS
ARTICLE VII -- EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
ARTICLE VIII -- STATE UNIT CHAPTERS
ARTICLE IX -- STATE UNIT REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY
ARTICLE X -- COMMITTEES
ARTICLE XI -- MEETINGS
ARTICLE XII -- DURATION AND DISSOLUTION
ARTICLE XIII -- PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURE
ARTICLE XIV -- AMENDMENTS

ARTICLE I – NAME

The incorporated name of this organization shall be the Maryland Federation of the Council for Exceptional Children, Inc. For operation purposes, this organization will recognized as the Maryland State Unit of the Council for Exceptional Children and will be referenced in this manner throughout this document.

ARTICLE II -- PURPOSES
This State Unit shall be organized for charitable and scientifically based research educational purposes to advance the education of children and youth with exceptionalities and their families, and to establish and administer programs and activities for the education of its members. Specifically, the State Unit intends to assist and provide support to the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) in all its efforts on behalf of children and youth with exceptionalities and their families, and to participate in all appropriate governance activities of CEC subject to the general supervision and control of CEC.

ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Qualifications
Membership shall consist of professional personnel and other persons interested in the education of children and youth with exceptionalities and their families.

Section 2. Minimum Membership Requirement
The State Unit shall maintain a minimum of one hundred (100) paid members who shall meet the membership qualifications established by the CEC Board of Directors, unless exempted by special action of the CEC Board of Directors.

Section 3. Unified Membership
The State Unit’s membership shall consist of all members of the Council for Exceptional Children affiliated with this state. The State Unit may not accept enrollments for State Unit membership only.

Section 4. Membership Term
The policy pertaining to the membership year shall be consistent with the membership policy of the Council for Exceptional Children.

ARTICLE IV -- ORGANIZATION
Section 1. Relationship to the Council for Exceptional Children
This State Unit shall be affiliated with the Council for Exceptional Children.

Section 2. Fiscal Year and Administrative Term
The fiscal year and administrative term of office shall be July 1 through June 30.

ARTICLE V – ASSESSMENT AND DUES

Section 1. Special Assessments
Special assessments on Professional membership dues may be levied by a majority vote of the State Unit’s Executive Committee at the meeting when this matter is considered or by a majority vote of the State Unit’s Executive Committee via electronic voting, provided there is a quorum.

Section 2. Payment of Dues
Annual dues to the Council for Exceptional Children shall be payable before the end of the individual’s membership year. Members whose dues are not paid by the last day of their membership year shall be dropped from membership of the organization.

ARTICLE VI – OFFICERS
Section 1. Elected Positions
The officers of this State Unit shall be duly elected by the State Unit’s Representative Assembly and consist of a President Elect, Secretary, two State Unit Representatives to the CEC Representative Assembly, and a Student Representative from an active Maryland CEC student chapter. The President Elect will complete the following sequence over a six-year period: President Elect (two-year term), President (two-year term) and Past President (two-year term).

Section 2. Appointed Positions
A. Two Children and Youth Action Network Representatives (CAN) shall be appointed by the State Unit President and approved by the State Unit Executive Committee by way of a quorum vote.

B. One Treasurer shall be appointed by the State Unit President and approved by the State Unit Executive Committee by way of a quorum vote.

All appointed positions must be filled by members in good standing of the Council for Exceptional Children at the time of their appointment and remain so throughout the duration of their term of office. All officer nominees must be affiliated with the Maryland State Unit of the Council for Exceptional Children.

Section 3. Prerequisite to Nomination and Election
All officer nominees must be members in good standing of the Council for Exceptional Children, as well as, affiliated with the Maryland State Unit at the time of their nomination and election and remain so throughout the duration of their term of office.

Section 4. Succession
The President Elect shall automatically succeed to the Presidency at the expiration of the President's two-year term of office.

The President shall automatically succeed to the Past Presidency and serve a two-year term.

Section 5. Vacancies
If a vacancy occurs in the office of President, the President Elect shall serve as acting President for the remainder of the term of office and shall become President at the beginning of the new term. A vacancy occurring in any office except the President shall be filled by an appointment of the President, with a quorum vote approval of the State Unit Executive Committee. The member appointed will serve until the end of the current administrative year or until replaced by a duly elected successor.

In the event that one of the elected State Unit Representatives to the CEC Representative Assembly is unable to attend the yearly meeting, which generally occurs during the Annual CEC Convention and Expo, an alternate Representative will be appointed by the President.

Section 6. Duties of Officers
A. The powers and duties of the President shall be:

1. To serve a two-year term as chief executive officer of the State Unit with the powers and duties usually belong to such a position;
2. To give leadership to general policy-making and to carry out the directives of the membership;
3. To call and preside at meetings of the State Unit Executive Committee, the annual meeting, meetings of the State Unit Representative
Assembly, and all other State Unit-sponsored meetings;
4. To recommend Chairs of standing committees (with the exception of the Program, Finance and Audit, and Nominations Committees), with a
quorum vote approval of the State Unit Executive Committee;
5. To serve as an ex-officio non-voting member of all committees with the exception of the Nominations Committee;
6. To recommend to the State Unit Executive Committee the types of ad hoc committees and other appointive bodies needed;
7. To submit the list of State Unit officers to the Council for Exceptional Children by June 30.
8. To prepare and submit an annual set of assurances to the Council for Exceptional Children by December 31.

B. The powers and duties of the President Elect shall be:

1. To serve a two-year term;
2. To serve in the place of, and with the authority of, the President in case of the President's absence or inability to serve;
3. To serve as Chair of the Program Committee for the annual meeting;
4. To plan other meetings according to the policies and directives of the State Unit Executive Committee.

C. The powers and duties of the Past President shall be:

1. To serve a two-year term;
2. To serve as Chair of the Nominations Committee and to develop a slate of candidates to be voted on by the State Unit Representative
Assembly;
3. To serve as a mentor to the State Unit Executive Committee;
4. To serve as Chair of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee; and
5. To submit any constitutional changes to CEC Headquarters.

D. The powers and duties of the Secretary shall be:

1. To serve a two-year term;
2. To keep a careful record of the proceedings of each meeting of the State Unit Executive Committee, the State Representative Assembly,
and other meetings conducted by the State Unit;
3. To carry on correspondence as necessary for the operation of the State Unit;
4. To assume custody of all records except those specifically assigned to others;
5. To keep accurate lists of State Unit Executive Committee, State Unit Representative Assembly, and State Unit committee members;
6. To have available copies of the Constitution and Bylaws and minutes of all meetings of the State Unit Executive Committee, and other
official meetings conducted by the State Unit; and
7. To transfer all records to the new Secretary at the time of installation.

E. The powers and duties of the Treasurer shall be:

1. To serve a two-year term;
2. To serve as custodian of the funds of the State Unit;
3. To pay out money for expenses approved by the State Unit Executive Committee and accompanied by the signature of a State Unit
Executive Committee member;
4. To make a line item annual report of the financial status of the State Unit to the State Unit Executive Committee and the State Unit’s
Representative Assembly at the annual meeting;
5. To serve as Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee;
6. To prepare and submit a line item annual budget for approval by the State Unit Executive Committee for adoption by the State Unit
Representative Assembly at the annual meeting;
7. To submit records of all monies collected and expended to the Finance and Audit Committee for auditing; and
8. To transfer all monies and records to the new Treasurer within 30 days after installation.

F. The powers and duties of the State Unit Representatives to the CEC Representative Assembly shall be:

1. To serve a two-year term;
2. To represent the State Unit at meetings of the CEC Representative Assembly and to participate in balloting and other activities necessary to
the functioning of the CEC Representative Assembly;
3. To report regularly to the State Unit Executive Committee, State Representative Assembly, and general membership on activities of the CEC
Representative Assembly and CEC;
4. To communicate issues and concerns from the State Unit to the CEC Representative Assembly;
5. To inform the state about the disposition of CEC Representative Assembly issues and advice forwarded to the CEC Board of Directors; and
6. To take other specific direction from the State Unit concerning the activities of the CEC Representative Assembly.

G. The powers and duties of the Children and Youth Action Network (CAN) Coordinators shall be:

1. To serve a two-year term;
2. To serve on the Public Policy Committee;
3. To establish relationships with local, state, and national elected officials and government officials;
4. To develop an effective grassroots advocacy network;
5. To take other specific direction from the State Unit Executive Committee concerning public policy;
5. To effectively communicate CEC’s public policy initiatives; and
6. To provide State Unit advocacy information and public policy priorities to CEC ‘s Public Policy Unit

H. The powers and duties of the Student Representative shall be:

1. To serve a one-to two-year term dependent upon the year of school program completion;
2. To represent the body of student members of the State Unit at State Unit Executive Committee meetings;
3. To communicate issues and concerns from the body of student members of the State Unit to the State Unit Executive Committee;
4. To take other specific direction from the State Unit Executive Committee concerning the incorporation of the body of student members of the
State Unit as a whole; and
5. To provide leadership in the planning, coordination and implementation of State Unit student events.

Section 7. Election of Officers
The officers of the State Unit shall be elected by the State Unit Representative Assembly from those members in good standing who are nominated by the Nominations Committee.

Section 8. Term of Office
The President and President Elect shall each serve two-year terms. The Secretary and Treasurer shall each serve a two-year term, which shall coincide with the Council for Exceptional Children’s dated timeline slated for the induction of new officers. The State Unit Representatives to the CEC Representative Assembly shall each serve one, two-year term which shall be staggered. Each State Unit Representative may have two consecutive two-year terms if re-elected.

Section 9. Removal from Office
The procedure for removal of an officer shall be:

A. A petition for removal of an officer shall be signed by at least five members of the State Unit and submitted in writing to the President. If the President is the subject of the petition, it shall be presented to the President Elect.

B. The President (or President Elect) shall, within seven days, notify each State Unit Executive Committee member in writing of the receipt of such a petition, solicit relevant evidence from all parties concerned, and call a special meeting of the State Unit Executive Committee to consider the matter within thirty (30) days following receipt of the petition.

C. At the State Unit Executive Committee meeting, an opportunity shall be made available to all interested parties to present any relevant evidence. Provided there is a quorum, a two-thirds majority vote of the members forming said quorum, is necessary for the removal of the officer. Removal from office is effective immediately.

D. The officer being considered for removal shall be provided with the results of the State Unit Executive Committee action in writing within seven days.

E. Upon receipt of written notification of removal, the officer concerned shall have fifteen days to submit to the President (or President Elect) written notice of appeal.

F. Within seven days following receipt of a valid written notice of appeal, the President (or President Elect) shall, in writing, call for the appointment and meeting of an Appeal Board. The Appeal Board shall consist of five members in good standing appointed by the State Unit Executive Committee and five members in good standing selected by the appealing officer. No member of the Appeal Board with the exception of the Chair, will be a current officer or committee Chair within the State Unit. The President (or President Elect) shall serve as the non-voting Chair of the Appeal Board. If the appealing officer is unable to select the members willing to serve, the decision of the State Unit Executive Committee will stand.

G. At the meeting of the Appeal Board, an opportunity shall be made available to all interested parties to present any relevant evidence. Provided there is a quorum, a two-thirds majority vote of the members forming said quorum, is necessary to overturn the State Unit Executive Committee’s decision and reinstate the removed officer. Reinstatement is effective immediately.

H. The officer whose appeal has been considered shall be provided with the results of the Appeal Board action in writing within seven days. This action is final.

ARTICLE VII -- EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Section 1. Composition
The Executive Committee shall consist of the officers of the State Unit: President, President Elect, Treasurer, Secretary, Representative Assembly Representatives, CAN Representatives and the Chairs of the following Standing Committees: Membership, Communications, Constitution and Bylaws, Nominations, Finance and Audit, Program, and Public Policy. One-half of the membership of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum.

Section 2. Duties of the Executive Committee
The duties of the Executive Committee shall be:
A. To serve as the State Unit’s administrative policy-making body;
B. To act upon such official recommendations and petitions as may be received;
C. To approve an annual budget;
D. To recommend policies and programs to the State Unit Representative Assembly at its annual meeting;
E. To determine the publications that should be issued;
F. To receive and review all proposed amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws; and
G. To assume such other responsibilities as are, or as shall be, assigned through the Constitution and Bylaws or legislated by the State
Representative Assembly.

ARTICLE VIII -- STATE UNIT CHAPTERS
Section 1. Chapter Composition
A chapter shall include but is not limited to the following officer positions: Past President, President, President Elect, and Treasurer. A chapter officer must be in good standing with CEC and must be affiliated with the State Unit. Chapter members may be professionals, retired, associates, international, paraprofessionals, or students.

Section 2. Chapter Duties
Chapters will be required to submit an annual report, officer list, and an updated constitution and bylaws, as well as participate in one state meeting per year.

Section 3. Chapter Dues Reimbursement
Officially recognized professional chapters will receive a dues reimbursement if they complete the duties outlined in Section 2. Officially recognized student chapters are not eligible for dues reimbursement but are given priority for annual mini-grants.

ARTICLE IX -- STATE UNIT REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY
Section 1. Professional Chapter Representation
Each officially recognized professional chapter in good standing of the State Unit is entitled to one vote.

Section 2. Student Chapter Representation
Each officially recognized student chapter is entitled to one vote.

Section 3. Affiliate Recognition
Each officially recognized State Unit affiliate is entitled to send one non-voting representative to the State Unit Representative Assembly.

Section 4. State Representative Assembly Quorum
One-third of the possible representatives shall constitute a quorum at a regular or called meeting of the State Unit Representative Assembly.

Section 5. Duties of the State Representative Assembly
The duties of the State Representative Assembly shall be:
A. To serve as the State Unit’s advisory Board;
B. To participate as a voting body during the selection of members to the Nominations Committee;
C. To participate as a voting body during the selection of the officers of the State Unit;
D. To review the State Unit Constitution and Bylaws and to make recommendations thereto;
E. To review the State Unit platforms, statements of policy, and resolutions and make recommendations thereto; and
F. To review and provide input regarding official recommendations and petitions as may be received.

Section 6. Term of Representation and Succession
A. Each representative to the State Unit Representative Assembly shall serve a two-year term and may be selected for an additional
consecutive two-year term. A third consecutive term in the same position is not permitted.
B. A person who has served two consecutive terms will become eligible for another term following a two- year break in service.
C. The term of service of any representative shall expire at the end of the period for which he or she was selected.

ARTICLE X -- COMMITTEES
Section 1. Standing Committees
Standing committees shall be Membership, Communications, Public Policy, Program, Nominations, Constitution and Bylaws, and Finance and Audit.

Section 2. Appointment of Committee Chairs
The President, with the approval of the State Unit Executive Committee, shall appoint the Chairs of all standing committees with the exception of the Program, Nominations, and Finance and Audit Committees. The President Elect shall serve as Chair of the Program Committee. The Past President shall serve as Chair of the Nominations Committee. The Treasurer shall serve as Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee.

Section 3. Appointment of Committee Members
Committee members shall be appointed by the Chairs, subject to approval by the State Unit Executive Committee. All committees shall have no less than two members in addition to the Chair.

Section 4. Membership Committee Composition
The Membership Committee shall include the State Unit Membership Chair and the Membership Chairs of all professional and student chapters deemed in good standing.

Section 5. Communications Committee Composition
The Communications Committee shall include the State Unit web administrator.

Section 6. Public Policy Committee Composition
The Public Policy Committee shall include the CAN Coordinators.

Section 7. Program Committee Composition
The President Elect shall serve as chair of the Program Committee.

Section 8. Nominations Committee Composition
The Past President shall serve as Chair of the Nominations Committee.

Section 9. Constitution and Bylaws Committee Composition
The Past President shall serve as Chair of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee.

Section 10. Finance and Audit Committee Composition
The Treasurer shall serve as Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee.

Section 11. Duties of Committees
A. The powers and duties of the Membership Committee shall be:

1. To maintain an active record of members and to provide all officers and committee chairs with such a list;
2. To maintain an active program for the recruitment of new members;
3. To maintain an active program for the retention of members; and
4. To support CEC Headquarters in its follow-up of membership renewals and member recruitment activities.

B. The powers and duties of the Communications Committee shall be:

1. To assess the composition of the membership for consideration in determining the scope of the publications program;
2. To continuously review the publications structure of the State Unit and recommend policies and procedures related to its growth and
development;
3. To recommend to the State Unit Executive Committee publications to be issued;
4. To plan and develop publicity that will give recognition to State Unit activities and members; and
5. To publish the official publication of the Unit.

C. The duties of the Public Policy committee shall be:

1. To develop a political action program under the direction of the State Unit Executive Committee or the State Unit Representative Assembly;
2. To disseminate information pertinent to international and state public policy; and
3. To support CEC Headquarters in its public policy efforts and campaigns.

D. The duties of the Program Committee shall be:

1. To develop the program for the annual meeting.

E. The duties of the Nominations Committee shall be:

1. To prepare annually a slate of candidates for the positions that are up for election, and to present the slate through the Maryland State Unit
website and information blasts to the State Unit Representative Assembly thirty (30) days prior to the meeting of the State Unit
Representative Assembly. Only those persons who are members in good standing of the Council may be nominated.

F. The duties of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee shall be:

1. To meet at the end of each fiscal year/administrative term to review the Constitution and Bylaws and make recommendations for changes to
the State Unit Executive Committee; and
2. To receive and review all proposed amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws and refer with recommendations to the State Unit Executive
Committee.

G. The duties of the Finance and Audit Committee shall be:

1. To prepare and submit an annual budget for adoption by the State Unit Representative Assembly;
2. To conduct an audit of the Treasurer’s annual report;
3. To conduct a thorough line item audit of the treasury records and reports every two years; and
4. To develop plans for raising funds.

Section 12. Ad Hoc Committees
Ad hoc committees may be established and their functions assigned at the discretion of the President. Such establishment must clearly indicate the purpose and length of service of the committee.

ARTICLE XI -- MEETINGS
Section 1. Annual Meeting
There shall be an annual meeting of the State Unit. The meeting date will be announced on a blast email and posted on the Maryland CEC website and other social networking sites two weeks prior to the meeting date. Members, chapters, etc. will have ten days to electronically submit agenda items.

Section 2. Executive Committee Meetings
There shall be no less than four meetings of the State Unit Executive Committee, including one at the annual meeting of the State Unit.

Section 3. State Representative Assembly
There shall be at least one regular meeting of the State Unit Representative Assembly to be held at the time of the annual meeting.

Section 4. Special Meetings
Special meetings may be called by the President with the consent of the State Unit Executive Committee.

ARTICLE XII -- DURATION AND DISSOLUTION
The duration of the State Unit shall be perpetual unless the officers of the State Unit unanimously determine that it should be dissolved. The officers shall inform the membership that the Unit is to be dissolved. Upon the dissolution and final liquidation of the State Unit, the officers shall, after paying or making provision for the payment of all the debts and liabilities of the State Unit, submit assets to the National Headquarters of the Council for Exceptional Children (a non-profit organization).

ARTICLE XIII -- PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURE
The rules of parliamentary practice in Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, latest edition, shall govern the proceedings of this State Unit subject to the special rules which have been or may be adopted.

ARTICLE XIV – AMENDMENTS

Section 1. Submission of Proposed Amendments
Any proposed amendment to this Constitution and Bylaws shall be submitted in writing to the Constitution and Bylaws Committee for review.

Section 2. Review by Executive Committee
The Constitution and Bylaws Committee shall refer all proposed amendments with recommendations to the State Unit Executive Committee.

Section 3. Referral to State Representative Assembly
All proposed amendments presented to the State Unit Executive Committee shall be submitted to the membership not less than thirty (30) days prior to any meeting of the State Unit Representative Assembly (with special exception for amendments approved by the State Unit Executive Committee).

Section 4. Final Action
Any proposed amendment shall become a part of this Constitution and Bylaws by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the votes cast at any legally constituted meeting of the State Unit Representative Assembly. Any proposed amendment shall become a part of the Constitution and Bylaws by a simple majority vote. Voting may be conducted electronically.

Last Amended: January 2013