Charter School Boards of Trustees

Key Compliance Issues and Related Forms


By-Laws Ratification and Amendment:

By-laws need to be ratified within 30 days of a school being chartered.  Such approval must conform to any super-majority provisions in the existing by-laws and result in a signed copy of a ratifying resolution or a copy of the by-laws signed by the board secretary attesting to their ratification.

All material by-laws changes require approval by the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York.  Most changes are considered material except, for example: minor changes in number of school trustees or number of meetings to be held annually (if small %); and changes to conform to N-PCL, Open Meetings Law or Education Law (executive Committee change from 3 to 5 members (minimum under Ed. Law § 226(2)).


Meetings of the school board of trustees must conform to the Open Meetings Law.  Minutes must be created within 2 weeks of the meeting (Public Officers Law § 106) and one week for executive session minutes consisting of any vote matters and recordation.

A copy of the minutes must be sent to the Institute within 30 days of the board's meeting and may be in draft format so long as they are approved at the next meeting.

Changes in Trusteeship:

                                         - Important Notice About the RFI Form -

  • The RFI must be completely filled out and signed, and must include the individual's resume if one is referenced (not required if Question 2 on the form is answered).
  • The Board must pass a resolution approving the proposed trustee PRIOR to the submission of the RFI.  A copy of the resolution or board minutes showing passage must be included with the RFI.  Note: The prospective trustee should not vote until approved by the Institute, and therefore cannot participate in any board votes.
  • The Institute has 45 days to approve the new trustee once all information has been received.  If the Institute does not respond within 45 days of full submission, the trustee may be seated.
  • Note that while the Institute rarely rejects a candidate, it may ask for supplemental responses to RFI questions.
  • The Current List of Board Members and Trustees Form provides a suggested format for board lists.  An updated list should be completed and forwarded to the Institute after any resignation, removal or request to add an additional board member.

Per Charter Paragraph 2.10(f), a school must inform the Institute within 5 days of any changes in membership among its board of trustees.  (Likewise, the Institute must be notified regarding changes in the school's leadership/principal, Para. 4.1.)

In the case of a trustee stepping down from the board, one of the following must occur:

  • A letter signed by the board chair stating that the trustee vacated his or her office by (actively) refusing to act (Ed. Law § 226(4)); or
  • A letter signed by the board chair stating that the trustee vacated his or her office by failing to attend three consecutive meetings without an excuse acceptable to the trustees (Ed. Law § 226(4)) and that there is board resolution documenting a vote regarding the lack or insufficiency of the excuse; or
  • A letter signed by the board chair indicating that the trustee has died.

To remove a trustee by way of a resolution:

  • Must be approved by a majority of trustees then in office as opposed to a majority of trustees present with a quorum (Ed. Law § 226(8); and
  • Must be on written complaint of any trustee; and
  • Must be for cause (misconduct, incapacity, neglect of duty, violation of charter provision regarding qualifications, code of ethics, etc.); and
  • Must give one week's notice to exiting trustee and all trustees.
  • Copy of voted resolution or a copy of the minutes with the removal and votes recorded must be sent to the Institute.