Q Is the language in Section 37-5-19 that requires a county board of education to fill a vacancy on such board “within 60 days” after the vacancy occurs mandatory or directory? Who is responsible for paying the cost of the special election to fill the vacancy?

A The sixty day time period for school board action set forth in Section 37-5-19 is directory. Failure to make an appointment within that time period does not relieve the remaining members of the school board from the mandatory requirement to make an appointment. Therefore, an appointment must be made as soon as possible without further delay. Special elections to fill vacancies on county boards of education are held in the same manner as general elections for full terms. Counties bear the expenses of both general elections and special elections to fill vacancies. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Perkins dated December 18, 2010)