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AGO 1949 No. 157 - November 17, 1949
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

WASHINGTON STATE SCHOOL DIRECTORS' ASSOCIATION - DUES

Where a member of the Washington State School Directors' Association is a member of a Union High School District Board and an Elementary School District Board, the Association may by action of its governing body adopt a rule whereby both districts or but one district are liable for his dues.

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                                                                November 17, 1949

Washington State School
Directors' Association
Box 748
Olympia, Washington

                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 49-51 No. 157

Attention:  !ttWalter A. Seaman
            Executive Secretary-Treasurer

Gentlemen:

             We have your letter of June 1, 1949, in which you ask the following question:

             Where a person is a member of the Washington State School Directors' Association by virtue of his being a director of a union high school district as well as by virtue of his being a director of an elementary school district which is a component part of the union high school district; which board of directors, the component district board or the union high school district board, under the Washington State School Directors' law [chapter 169, Laws of 1947], is to pay his membership dues in the State Directors' Association, or should both school district boards pay dues?

            The conclusions reached may be summarized as follows:

            The Washington State School District Association, being empowered to adopt a constitution and by-laws for its own organization, and being further empowered to establish a schedule of dues for its members, the problem above stated is an administrative one which must be resolved by the adoption by the membership or the governing body of the association of a ruling consistent with its constitution and by-laws.

              [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            In a union high school district consisting of three or more school districts, the board of directors of said union district shall be composed of the chairmen of the several boards of directors of the districts comprised in such union high school district; section 36, chapter 266, Laws of 1947.  By virtue of this provision the chairmen of boards of the component districts automatically become members of the board of the union high school district.

            The legislature, in enacting chapter 169, Laws of 1947, created an agency of the state to be known as the Washington State School Directors' Association for the purpose of the coordination of programs and procedures pertaining to policy making and to control and management among the school districts of the state.

            Section 2 of said act provides that:

            "The membership of the School Directors' Association shall comprise the members of the boards of directors of the school districts of the state."

            Thus, a person may become a member of the School Directors' Association both by virtue of his membership upon the board of a union high school district and also by virtue of his membership upon the board of a component school district, which circumstance gives birth to your problem.

            Section 3 of the aforementioned School Directors' Association Act [chapter 169, Laws of 1947], enumerates the powers of the association, among them being:

            "* * * (a) to prepare and adopt, amend and repeal a constitution and rules, regulations, and by-laws for its own organization including county units and for its government and guidance, provided action taken with respect thereto is not inconsistent with the provisions of this act or with other provisions of law; * * *"

            The act further empowers the association to establish a schedule of dues and provides for their payment:

            "Sec. 5. The Washington State School Directors' Association is hereby empowered to establish a schedule of dues for members of the association which schedule shall provide for dues not in excess of five dollars ($5) per annum  [[Orig. Op. Page 3]] for a member from any school district.  The Board of Directors of a school district shall make provision for payment out of the General Fund of the District of the dues of association members resident in the district, which payment shall be made in the manner provided by law for the payment of other claims against the General Fund of the district."

            In view of the broad powers granted to the association for its own organization and government, we are of the opinion that the question here presented can only be resolved by having the membership or the governing body of the association adopt an appropriate rule to govern this situation, which rule should be in accordance to and consistent with the constitution and by-laws already adopted for its government.  In short, the necessary powers having by the legislature been granted to the association, the problem is an administrative one rather than a legal one.

Very truly yours,

SMITH TROY
Attorney General

T. H. LITTLE
Chief Assistant
Attorney General

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