NCSS Constitution (bylaws)

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1. Articles of Incorporation and Constitution

National Council for the Social Studies will promote the full and active participation in the social studies profession of men and women from all levels of education, all ethnic groups, and all geographic areas, urban, rural, and suburban. In all policies and activities, every effort will be made to achieve this goal. Additionally, as the NCSS mission statement affirms our commitment to engaging and supporting educators as they strengthen and advocate social studies, every effort will be made to ensure that the overall composition and leadership of NCSS committees, task forces, and commissions include preK-12 classroom teachers in proportion to their membership in NCSS. It is the responsibility of local, regional and state affiliates to aid NCSS in this essential task by recommending appropriate members for these committees, task forces and commissions.

1.1 NCSS Articles of Incorporation (1939) As Amended (1964)

We, the undersigned, Howard C. Hill, John R. Davey, and Rolla M. Tryon, citizens of the United States, propose to form a corporation under an Act of the General Assembly of the State of Illinois, entitled, 'An Act Concerning Corporations,' approved April 18, 1872, and all Acts amendatory thereof; and for the purpose of such organization we hereby state as follows, to-wit:

1. The name of such corporation is NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR THE SOCIAL STUDIES.

2. The purpose of the corporation is to promote the study of the problems of teaching the social studies to the best advantage of the students in the classroom, to encourage research, experimentation, and investigation in these fields; to hold public discussions and programs; to sponsor the publication of desirable articles, reports, and surveys; and to integrate the efforts of all of those who have similar purposes through the efforts and activities of its members and their cooperative activities with others interested in the advancement of education in the social studies.

3. The management of the corporation shall be vested in a board of such number of directors as may from time to time be specified in the bylaws (now designated 'Constitution') of the corporation, provided that there shall be no less than three directors at any time.

4. The corporation shall be exclusively a charitable, scientific and educational corporation within the meaning of Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as currently in effect or as hereafter amended from time to time, provided, however, that the corporation shall not operate a post-secondary educational institution or vocational school, nor shall it be authorized to receive any child for care or placement apart from its own parent or guardian.

5. The corporation is not organized for profit or pecuniary benefit. It is a membership corporation without stock or stockholders. No part of the revenue or income of the corporation shall inure, either directly or indirectly, to the benefit of any member, officer, employee, or any private individual or to the benefit of any corporation or organization, any part of the net earnings of which inure to the benefit of any private individual, provided, however, that this shall not prevent payment of reasonable compensation for services actually rendered to or for the corporation in effecting its purposes.

6. The corporation shall not, directly or indirectly:

(a) Devote any substantial part of its activities to the carrying on of propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation; or participate or intervene, by the publication or distribution of statements or otherwise, in any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office;

(b) Make any accumulation of income unreasonable in amount or duration or invest income in any manner to jeopardize the fulfillment of the objects of the corporation;

(c) Engage in any activity affecting the corporation's right to full tax exemption as a charitable, scientific or educational organization under Federal laws or the laws of states or local governmental bodies;

(d) Make any loan to any of its officers or directors; nor shall it, directly or indirectly, devolve any pecuniary or economic benefit upon any member, sponsor, donor, creator, director, officer, or employee by reason or virtue of, or through;

(e) The loan of any part of its income or property to any such person or organization without the receipt of adequate security and a reasonable rate of interest; or

(f) The purchase of any property from any such person or organization for more than adequate consideration in money or money's worth or the sale to any such person or organization for less than adequate consideration in money or money's worth or other transaction with any such person or organization which might result in the diversion of the income or property of the corporation.

7. If, at any time, the corporation shall cease to carry out the purposes as herein stated, all assets and property held by it, whether in trust or otherwise, shall, after the payment of its liabilities, be paid over to the National Education Association of the United States for its charitable and/or educational organization. If the said National Education Association is not then so exempt, the net assets, as aforesaid, shall be transferred to an organization with federal tax exemption for charitable and educational uses and purposes similar to those of this corporation, which exempt organization shall be designated by the final Board of Directors of the Corporation; if the Board of Directors is unable to select such an organization, the net assets shall be transferred to the United Givers Fund, or the then similar organization, for its charitable uses and purposes.

8. The following persons are hereby selected as the Directors to control and manage said corporation for the first year of its corporate existence, viz.:

C. C. Barnes, 467 W. Hancock St., Detroit, Michigan; Ruth West, Lewis and Clarke High School, Spokane, Washington; H. R. Anderson, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; H. E. Wilson, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Nelle Bowman, Central High School, Tulsa, Oklahoma; B. W. Phillips, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin; Erling M. Hunt, Columbia University, New York, New York; L. C. Marshall, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland; W. H. Hathaway, Riverside High School, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; H. C. Hill, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois; B. L. Pierce, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois; J. M. Gambrill, Columbia University, New York, New York; A. C. Krey, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Edgar Dawson, Hunter College, New York, New York; R. M. Tryon, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois; D. S. Morgan, Superintendent of Schools, Indianapolis, Indiana; W. G. Kimmel, J. C. Winston, Co., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; E. B. Wesley, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota; R. O. Hughes, Board of Education, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; E. E. Ellis, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri

9. The location is in the city of Chicago in the county of Cook in the State of Illinois, and the post office address of its business office is at No. 5820 S. Kenwood Avenue in the said City of Chicago, Illinois.

Amended December 22, 1964 Isidore Starr, President Merrill F. Hartshorne, Executive Secretary

1.2 NCSS Constitution (1921) As Amended (1940, 46, 55, 56, 60, 61, 65, 68, 71, 75, 77, 86, 92, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009)

Article I. Name and Purposes

Section 1. This association shall be known as National Council for the Social Studies and is incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois. The term 'social studies' is used to include the social science disciplines and those areas of inquiry which relate to the role of the individual in a democratic society designed to protect his and her integrity and dignity and which are concerned with the understanding and solution of problems dealing with social issues and human relationships.

Section 2. The purpose of the association is to promote the social studies to the best advantages of all students in the classroom; to promote the full and active participation in the social studies profession of men and women from all levels of education, all ethnic groups, and all geographic areas, urban, rural, and suburban; to encourage research, experimentation, and investigation in social studies; to hold public discussions and programs; to sponsor the publication of desirable articles, reports, and surveys; and to integrate the efforts of all those who have similar purposes through the efforts and activities of its members and their cooperative activities with others interested in the advancement of education in the social studies.

Article II. Organization

Section 1. The elective officers of the National Council shall be chosen from the membership by according to a schedule and in a manner to be prescribed by the board of directors. They shall include a president, a president-elect, and a vice president. They shall assume office on July 1 following their election and shall hold their respective offices for the term of one year. There shall also be a secretary of the corporation and an executive director and treasurer appointed by the board of directors.

Section 2. The president shall have general charge of the affairs of the National Council and by virtue of the office shall chair the board of directors. It shall be the obligation of the president to promote in all suitable ways the best interests of the National Council.

Section 3. The president-elect and the vice president shall assume such duties as the president or board of directors shall specify. If a vacancy occurs in the office of president, the president-elect shall become president; if a vacancy occurs in the office of president-elect, then the vice president shall become president-elect.

Section 4. The secretary of the corporation shall maintain an office in the State of Illinois, shall receive legal notices sent to or served upon the National Council in its capacity as a corporation, and shall make the annual report to the secretary of state of Illinois as required by law.

Section 5. The executive director and treasurer shall be responsible for carrying out policies formulated by the board of directors, and as treasurer shall be the financial agent of the National Council for the Social Studies. The executive director shall make annual written reports to the board of directors. The executive director's salary, tenure, and specific responsibilities shall be determined by the board.

Section 6. The board of directors shall consist of the president, the president-elect, and the vice president; 12 elected directors, 4 of whom shall be elected for a term of three years; and the immediate past president who shall serve a term of one year. The chairperson of the Steering Committee of the House of Delegates shall be an ex officio member of the board. The board shall have the power to appropriate funds from the treasury, to review the actions of officers and committees, to select the place for the annual meeting, and to exercise all powers not herein assigned to other officers or to the membership of the National Council. The board may determine nomination and election procedures providing that such procedures insure that board membership at all times includes: seven classroom teachers, of whom at least one is an elementary teacher, at least one is a middle level teacher, at least two are secondary teachers, and the remaining three chosen "at-large" with no designated grade level; at least one college or university teacher; and at least one social studies supervisor. The remaining three directors will be chosen "at large" with no designated category, grade level, or professional role NCSS student members preparing to fill any of these professional roles shall be eligible for nomination and election in any of the categories above.

Section 7. A House of Delegates composed of representatives of all affiliated councils, associated groups and communities shall be established by the board of directors of the National Council for the Social Studies. This House of Delegates shall advise and consult with the officers and board of directors of the National Council for the Social Studies, and, in addition shall perform those functions as described in Section 5 of Article III.

Article III. Membership, Dues, Meetings and Publications

Section 1. Any person having a direct professional relationship with the NCSS may join as a comprehensive or regular member of the National Council and is eligible to vote for elective officers of the council, hold office, or be appointed to committees. Any college student having a professional relationship with the NCSS may join as a comprehensive, regular, or student member of the National Council and is eligible to vote for elective officers of the council, hold office, or be appointed to committees.

Section 2. The annual dues shall be determined by the board of directors. The payment of these dues entitles members to a year's subscription to the official periodical and to such other publications as the board of directors shall determine. It also entitles them to attend all public meetings, to vote for elective officers of the council, and to hold the offices to which they may be appointed or elected.

Section 3. The board of directors shall have the power to select or establish the official periodical for the National Council. Until otherwise ordered, Social Education shall be the official periodical of the National Council.

Section 4. The agenda for meetings of the board of directors shall be prepared cooperatively by the Steering Committee of the House of Delegates and the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors. The NCSS president shall take the initiative in making the arrangements for the preparation of the agenda.

Section 5. The sessions of the House of Delegates held in connection with the major annual meeting shall constitute the annual business meeting of the House of Delegates. At such business meetings, any member of the NCSS in good standing shall have full right of debate, but only members of the House of Delegates shall have the right to vote. Meetings of the board of directors may be called by the president upon written notice through the office of the executive director. Other business meetings may be called by the president after due notice has been given to the membership.

Section 6. The date and place of the annual meeting shall be determined by the board of directors. The National Council may also cooperate with other professional organizations in the sponsorship of joint meetings providing that such cooperation is approved by the board of directors.

Article IV. Amendments: This Constitution may be amended by one of the following procedures:

I. Initiation. An amendment may be proposed by a petition to the board of directors. To be valid, a petition must contain at least 50 signatures of current NCSS members. The signatories must be drawn from at least 5 states with a minimum of 5 members from each state represented. The petition must be received by the president and the executive director at least 60 days prior to the Annual Meeting of the House of Delegates at which action is requested. Upon receiving the petition, the executive director will determine whether the petition is valid with regard to requisite signatures of current members. The president, acting for the board of directors, will then direct the Steering Committee of the House of Delegates to include the amendment on the agenda for the next meeting of the House of Delegates.

Approval by the House of Delegates. The first stage of amendment approval is conditional upon action by the House of Delegates. Approval of the amendment requires a two-thirds majority of the members of the House of Delegates voting during the annual business meeting of the House.
Approval by the Membership. If the House of Delegates approves the amendment, it is then submitted to the total NCSS membership. at the time of the annual election. To become effective, the amendment must be approved by a majority of NCSS members who vote on the amendment.

II. Initiation. An amendment may be proposed by a majority vote of the members of the House of Delegates voting at the annual business meeting of the House of Delegates.

Approval by the House of Delegates. An amendment must be ratified by a two-thirds majority of the members of the House of Delegates voting during the annual business meeting following the meeting at which the amendment was proposed.

Approval by the Membership. If the House of Delegates approves the amendment, it is then submitted to the total NCSS membership through a mail ballot at the time of the annual election. To become effective, the amendment must be approved by a majority of NCSS members who vote on the amendment.

Article V. Dissolution

No part of the net earnings of the Council shall inure to the benefit of any member, officer, or any private individual (except that reasonable compensation may be paid for services rendered in connection with one or more of its purposes), and no member, officer, or any private individual shall be entitled to share in the distribution of any of the assets of the Council, after payment of debts and obligations, shall be transferred to any successor social studies organizations as designated by the board of directors at the time of dissolution, provided these organizations are then exempt from federal income taxes as a charitable and/or educational organization. If no such organizations exist, the net assets shall be transferred to the United Way or the then similar organization, for its charitable uses and purposes.

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