There shall be an advisory council for the education of exceptional children which shall advise and consult with the state Board of Education on matters pertinent thereto. The advisory council shall be composed of twelve members appointed by the state superintendent of free schools, four of which shall be parents of exceptional children utilizing or eligible for the services of the special educational programs established hereunder. Other members of the advisory council shall include at least one handicapped individual, teacher of exceptional children, state education official, local education official, and an administrator of programs for exceptional children. No more than two officers and employees of the state may be eligible for appointment to the advisory council. Members shall be appointed for terms of three years except for initial terms which may be for one, two or three years. Each year the terms of office of one third of the advisory council shall expire. The members of the advisory council shall be citizens and residents of this state, who by reason of their training, education or experience are qualified to carry out the functions of the advisory council under this article.
The first term of office for the newly appointed members shall begin June 30, 1978.
At its first meeting, to be held the second Wednesday in July, 1978, the advisory council shall elect a chairman from among its members, who shall preside over its meetings until the second Wednesday in July of the next year. Thereafter, the advisory council shall elect a chairman on the second Wednesday in May of each year.
All members shall be eligible for reappointment. A member shall, unless sooner removed, continue to serve until his term expires and his successor has been appointed and has qualified. A vacancy caused by the death, resignation or removal of a member prior to the expiration of his term shall be filled only for the remainder of such term.
For the purpose of carrying out its functions under this article, six members of the advisory council shall constitute a quorum. The advisory council shall meet at least four times each year at least two of which shall be held at a building in the State Capitol complex and at a time designated by the chairman. Additional meetings may be held when called by the chairman or when requested by six members of the advisory council.
The time and place of all meetings and agenda items must be publicly announced and available to the public upon request at least ten days prior to the meeting, and meetings must be open to the public. Official minutes must be kept of all council meetings and shall be made available to the public upon request.
Members of the council shall not receive any compensation for their services on the council, but shall be reimbursed any actual expenses incurred by them in carrying out their duties from funds appropriated to the Department of Education.
The council shall:
(a) Consult with the state Board of Education concerning and comment publicly upon any rules and regulations formulated by such board regarding the education of handicapped children;
(b) Consult with and advise the state board and superintendent and the Legislature concerning any problems presented to the council including unmet needs within the state in the education of handicapped children;
(c) Hold public meetings at such times and places as the advisory council deems appropriate;
(d) Periodically review and comment publicly upon the state plan for special programs and make any recommendations it may have concerning changes it may deem proper. By July 1, of each year, the advisory council shall submit an annual report of its activities and suggestions to the state Board of Education and the superintendent, and shall make such report available to the public.