The By-Laws for CACSE, revised June 14, 2012


Citizens’ Advisory Committee for Special Education



SECTION I:   NAME     The name of this organization shall be the Citizens’ Advisory Committee for Special Education, hereinafter referred to as CACSE.  The CACSE is appointed by the St. Mary’s County Board of Education, hereinafter referred to as BOE.

SECTION II:  PURPOSE    The CACSE will advise and counsel the BOE on matters pertaining to the purpose of educational programs and related services to children and youth with disabilities of St. Mary’s County, as defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (20 U.S.C.1400) and Code of Maryland Regulations (13A.05.01).

SECTION III:  FUNCTION    The specific functions of the CACSE shall include, as necessary:

  1. To advise and counsel the BOE about the needs of children and youth with disabilities.
  2. To advise and counsel on the relevancy of educational programs and related services to meet the needs of children and youth with disabilities.
  3. To offer suggestions for the local proposed budget.
  4. To study specific issues and concerns of the BOE, concerned citizens, and parents
    • In order to better understand the specific issues and concerns, a written record will be kept by the Executive Board.
    • Representatives are encouraged to have concerned citizens provide confidential, written accounts of all issues or questions regarding students with disabilities.
    • CACSE members will review issues in a confidential manner.


SECTION I:  MEMBERSHIP     Membership of the CACSE shall consist of one representative and one alternate from each of the schools within St. Mary’s County Public Schools (SMCPS), and a representative from the student body of SMCPS.  The representative of the student body can self-nominate, or can be nominated by a member of the school administration within SMCPS.  School representatives should be a parent or guardian of a child who receives special education services, or an educator.  Representatives and alternates shall be nominated, in writing, by the respective school principals.

Other members of the CACSE may include one representative from the following organizations:

  1. Parent Liaison for Partners for Success for SMCPS
  2. Mary’s County Council of Parent Teacher Associations
  3. Mary’s County Department of Social Services
  4. Center for Life Enrichment
  5. Mary’s Health Department
  6. The Arc of Southern Maryland
  7. United Cerebral Palsy of Southern Maryland
  8. The Learning Disabilities Association of St. Mary’s County
  9. Autism Spectrum Support Group of Southern Maryland

Nonvoting, ex officio members shall be a representative from the Office of the Director for Special Education for SMCPS.

Executive Officers shall be confirmed annually, in September, by the BOE upon submission by the Executive Board.  Members shall be recommended for approval by principals and above listed agencies.  Members shall be approved by the executive officers.  The membership term shall be September 1 through August 31.

In case of the resignation of any CACSE member, the CACSE shall work with the respective school and the Department of Special Education to quickly replace the representative.

SECTION II:  PARTICIPATION    Effective and meaningful productivity of the CACSE requires full participation of all members.  Each member is expected to attend and participate in the monthly CACSE meetings, and to disseminate relevant information back to their school through the school administrator and/or School Improvement Team.

SECTION III:  VOTING RIGHTS    Voting rights shall consist of one vote from each represented school, a student body representative, and the agencies listed above.  In the absence of a serving representative, the alternate is eligible and responsible for voting privileges.  When a member of the Executive Committee is an alternate representative of their school or agency, and the representative of said school is in attendance, the Executive Committee member shall cast their vote as an Executive Committee member.

SECTION IVQUORUM   A quorum shall be considered when formal input is received by the majority of attendees with voting rights for the current meeting.  If no representative is assigned to a school or previously listed organization, that membership is considered not filled.  No final action shall be taken without formal input.  Formal input can include electronic or in-person representation.  A majority of members present shall decide the issue being voted upon including the proposals for study topics, reports to the Board of Education, and the election of officers.  All members are responsible to notify the officers if unable to attend.


SECTION I:  REGULAR MEETING     The CACSE shall meet no fewer than five (5) times per year. The purpose of the regular meeting shall be to conduct the business of the CACSE, including the election of officers, review and vote on projects and reports, update the status of ongoing efforts of any standing subcommittees, and to exchange information and ideas for the benefit of the CACSE.  Meeting dates, times, and/or additional meetings may be scheduled or rescheduled as necessary by the CACSE representative or their designee.

SECTION II:  EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETING     The Executive Board shall meet as necessary, in order to establish the agenda for upcoming regular meetings, conduct the business of the Executive Board, and ensure the ongoing dialogue necessary for effective operations of the CACSE. In the event of a request for review of or action on a particular topic for which a response is needed prior to the next scheduled meeting, the Executive Board may respond in lieu of the entire CACSE. All actions taken by the Executive Board on behalf of the CACSE are subject to review by the full CACSE at the next regularly scheduled CACSE meeting.

SECTION III:  SUBCOMMITTEE MEETINGS   It shall be the responsibility of the subcommittee chair of each standing subcommittee to schedule and conduct meetings as necessary to accomplish the charge of the subcommittee.  A monthly report of each subcommittee’s activity shall be electronically sent to each CACSE member by the subcommittee chairperson no later than 5 days prior to the next CACSE meeting.  All committees should provide a report. Questions regarding reports shall be sent to subcommittee chairs.

SECTION IV:  ATTENDANCE    Attendance at CACSE meetings shall include, but is not limited to, members of CACSE, staff and the representative from the Director of Special Education for SMCPS. Educators representing pre-school, elementary, middle, and high school aged students and other interested agencies and community stakeholders are welcome to attend CACSE meetings.


SECTION I:  OFFICERS   Officers shall be elected annually by the CACSE at the May meeting, to be effective June 1.  Only member representatives or alternate representatives with voting rights shall be eligible to serve as an officer or on the Executive Board. The officers of the CACSE shall be the chair, vice-chair, and secretary.


  1. Serve as chair of the Executive Board
  2. Preside at meetings
  3. Serve as the official voice of the CACSE to the BOE, and upon request by the BOE, to the St. Mary’s County Commissioners, County Agencies, and the public at large
  4. Coordinates reports from the CACSE
  5. Provide a written annual report to the BOE about their annual work, with updates as requested by the BOE
  6. Appoints subcommittee chairs and members, subject to CACSE approval


  1. Performs the duties of the Chair in their absence
  2. Assists chair in developing written annual report to the BOE
  3. Assists chair with duties as requested


  1. Maintains full and accurate record of CACSE regular meetings, Executive Board meetings, as well as tracking CACSE membership participation
  2. Disseminates all meeting minutes to CACSE members


  1. Maintains and stores the archives of the CACSE, including any and all documents, correspondence and reports of the CACSE and its subcommittees
  2. Review all project reports, and contribute comments and recommendations
  3. Responsible for coordination of presentation by the CACSE to the BOE
  4. Responsible for coordination of monthly meeting location


SECTION I:  MEMBERS    The Executive Board shall consist of the officers of the CACSE, as defined above.

SECTION II:  RESPONSIBILITIES   The Executive Board shall be responsible for the administration of the CACSE, and for the actions taken between CACSE meetings.

SECTION III:  QUORUM   Two Executive Board members will constitute a quorum.


Section l:  AMENDMENTS   Recommendations for amendments to these by-laws may be made by the CACSE periodically with majority vote of the members present. All CACSE members must be a notified in writing regarding proposed amendments to by-laws at least one week prior to any meeting.

Section ll:  ADMINISTRATIVE CHANGES TO BY-LAWS   Any by law changes required due to administrative changes, such as CACSE policy changes, shall amend these by–laws without a vote being required. This will be considered an administrative amendment to the by-laws.

Approved by the CACSE on *June 14th, 2012


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