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UEN Bylaws

(Most recently updated - November 2023)

Printable Version of UEN Bylaws


Section 1               Name of Organization

This organization is known as the URBAN EDUCATION NETWORK OF IOWA.

Section 2               Membership in the Urban Education Network of Iowa

The Urban Education Network of Iowa was established during the 1984-85 school year. The following school districts are Founding Members of the organization: Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Des Moines, Dubuque, Iowa City, Sioux City, and Waterloo.

Any duly organized and legally constituted public school district in Iowa with two or more comprehensive high school attendance centers and/or 10,000 or more students whose composition includes the major characteristics of “urbaneness” including, population density, multi-cultural and broad and varied socio-economic and ethnic representation, may become Members of the corporation by petition to and the recommendation of the Steering Committee to the general membership, a two-thirds affirmative vote by the membership and the payment of membership dues as provided in the Bylaws.

The Urban Education Network shall include the eight Founding Member districts and these Member districts, as long as they retain membership: Ames, Ankeny, Bettendorf, Burlington, Cedar Falls, College, Fort Dodge, Linn-Mar, Marshalltown, Mason City, Muscatine, Ottumwa, Southeast Polk, Storm Lake, Waukee, and West Des Moines.

The Urban Education Network may extend membership to additional districts upon the recommendation of the Steering Committee and a two-thirds vote of the membership. Membership is available to districts with 3,000 or more students enrolled which meet at least three of the following five criteria:

  1. 40% or more of the student population identified as free/reduced-price lunch eligible,
  2. 10% or more of students have individual education plans (IEPs),
  3. 10% of more of students receive English-Learner services,
  4. 1% of more of students identified as immigrants,
  5. 75% or fewer of students are white.

UEN membership benefits shall be determined by the Executive Director collaboratively with the Steering Committee and as provided for in the budgeting process. The benefits shall be shared annually with member districts and posted on the UEN website. Please note that UEN membership is NOT to be considered in lieu of membership in other organizations serving school districts and administrators, e.g., IASB or SAI. The UEN works closely with these and other organizations on behalf of all students. 


Section 3               General Powers and Duties

The Urban Education Network of Iowa is organized and governed in accordance with these official Bylaws. The Urban Education Network shall make rules for its own governance in order to fulfill the purpose of the organization. Each year a UEN superintendent serves as Chairperson-Elect and assumes the position of Chairperson the following year (one-year term, July 1 through June 30). Appointment to the position of Chairperson-Elect and Chairperson is a rotation basis from among the Founding Members.


Section 4            Officer Duties

The Chair of the Urban Education Network shall act as president and official representative for the UEN; preside at meetings; sign all contracts; and prepare, with assistance of the Executive Director, meeting agendas. The Chair of the Urban Education Network shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, except as otherwise directed by the membership. Other Officers shall include a Chair-Elect (1), a Chair-Elect (2) and the Past-Chair. The Chair-Elect (1) or another Officer shall temporarily serve as Chair if the Chairperson is unable to serve.

A Treasurer shall be appointed annually by the Steering Committee for a one-year term from among the superintendents of the Founding Members. The Treasurer shall work with the Executive Director or designee to keep account of all money, funds, and property of UEN; to provide financial oversight of budget and revenues/expenditures; coordinate or conduct an annual audit, prepare an annual financial report to be provided for presentation to the Steering Committee; and ensure that any reports or filings necessary are filed with state or federal entities including the Iowa Secretary of State and State Legislature regarding non-profit status and/or lobbying activities, as required. The Treasurer may also serve as an Officer. The Treasurer may be elected to consecutive one-year terms, with no limit to the number of terms.


Section 5        Steering Committee

The Steering Committee shall meet in the capacity of the board of directors and shall consist of eight representatives of the Founding Member Districts: Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Des Moines, Dubuque, Iowa City, Sioux City, and Waterloo. Every consideration shall be given to an equitable rotation of leadership positions among the member districts. The Executive Director will develop and maintain a leadership schedule, strive toward balanced membership on the Steering Committee of four superintendents and four board members, if possible, and make the leadership schedule of designated Steering Committee members available to all member districts. In addition, a superintendent or a board member of each additional Member district shall be invited to participate in Steering Committee meetings. In the event that a designated Steering Committee member is unable to attend a Steering Committee meeting, the superintendent or an alternate board member from the district may attend instead. All UEN Member districts are entitled to one vote on matters in front of the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee shall exercise the authority granted by the membership to carry out policy and conduct the operations of the organization.


Section 6        Legislative Priorities

UEN legislative priorities are to be determined annually in accordance with the following process: 1. Executive Director elicits from each member district, suggested legislative priorities; 2. Executive Director and Chairperson compile suggestions and formulate proposed list; 3. Executive Director forwards to member districts the proposed list of legislative priorities for comment and feedback; 4. Steering Committee vets the feedback of the member districts and approves a slate of legislative priorities. 5. Final approval of UEN legislative priorities is determined by the Steering Committee annually, with each member district allotted one vote, before the beginning of the Legislative Session.


Section 7        Executive Director

The Urban Education Network shall hire an Executive Director to carry out the functions of the organization as determined by the membership. The Steering Committee shall be empowered to employ the Executive Director and other staff as appropriate. The Executive Director shall carry out the policies, resolutions and other directives of the Urban Education Network consistent with the mission and objectives of the organization and other duties as specified in the position description. Included in the position description will be the responsibility for keeping records of all proceedings of the Urban Education Network, financial records, correspondence, and historical documents. The Executive Director, Treasurer, or designee will issue a financial report to the Steering Committee at each meeting.


Section 8        Filling Vacancies

In the event of a vacancy created by a member district choosing not to appoint a board member to serve on the Steering Committee, another district will be invited to appoint a board representative to serve. Vacancies among the superintendent members of the Steering Committee will be filled by the Steering Committee.


 Section 9       Code of Ethics

The Urban Education Network acknowledges the following code of ethics. Member Districts will:

  • Respect the opinions of others.
  • Be motivated only by an earnest desire to achieve the goals of the Urban Education Network as stated in the Mission Statement, Objectives and Guiding Principles.
  • Not use the Urban Education Network for personal advantage or the advantage of friends or supporters.
  • Abide by the majority decisions of the Urban Education Network.
  • Keep informed on issues of significance to the organization so that each member district may become a better and more effective Urban Education Network member.


Section 10    Membership Meetings

The chairperson or any three member districts may call a special or an emergency meeting of the organization at any time. Adequate notification of such meetings will be accorded the membership.


Section 11          Agendas for the Steering Committee Meetings

An agenda shall be submitted by the Executive Director or his/her designee to the members of the Steering Committee at least five days before any regular meeting. Individual members may suggest agenda items to the chairperson, Executive Director or bring items to the Steering Committee meeting under the topic of new business.


Section 12     Quorum for Steering Committee Meetings

A majority of the Steering Committee members representing the eight Founding Member districts shall be present to constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. A majority vote of members present shall be necessary and sufficient to pass any motion or to take any action.


Section 13            Minutes and Communications

The Executive Director will be responsible for recording and making available to the membership accurate minutes of all Steering Committee Meetings. The notes of all general meetings are available to interested parties. Steering Committee Meeting Minutes shall be distributed to the Steering Committee members, all UEN member superintendents, and posted on the UEN website, but may be distributed more broadly as determined by the Executive Director. Communications specific to job-alike group meetings shall be submitted to the job-alike participants, with meeting highlights shared with superintendents upon request. Legislative updates and calls to action will be broadly distributed to all UEN board members, superintendents and other district staff indicating interest in receiving these communications.


Section 14       Membership Fees

The Steering Committee annually determines membership fees. The membership fees shall be effective from July 1 to June 30 and are payable prior to September 15.


Section 15       Amending These Bylaws

These Bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of the Steering Committee and endorsed by a majority of the Founding Member districts. Proposed amendments shall be submitted in writing and sent to the membership seven days prior to a vote.