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5. House of Delegates

5.1 House as a Forum

5.1.1 Constitutional Responsibilities

A House of Delegates composed of representatives of 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. (Constitution, Article II, Section 7)

5.2 House as the Annual Business Meeting

5.2.1 Debate and Vote

The session 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 NCSS in good standing shall have full right of debate, but only members of the House of Delegates shall have the right to vote. (Constitution, Article III, Section 5)

5.2.2 Ex Officio Members of House

Officers of NCSS, members of the board of directors, and members of committees elected by the house are specifically charged with representing those members of NCSS not otherwise represented in the house. These ex officio members are not counted when calculating representation from affiliates, but have full voting rights in the House of Delegates.

5.3 House as an Amending Body of the NCSS

5.3.1 Constitutional Responsibility

An amendment to the Constitution must be approved by a two-thirds majority vote by the House of Delegates. (Constitution, Article IV)

5.4 Other Functions of the House

5.41 Committees

The House of Delegates elects members to the following committees:

5.4.1.1 Standing committees of the House: Steering Committee and Resolutions Committee.

5.4.1.2 NCSS operational committees, as determined by the board of directors.

5.4.1.3 Ad hoc committees created by the House (appointed by the Steering Committee chair). Presently this is the Credentials Committee.

5.42 Resolutions

The House may adopt resolutions, but such resolutions are advisory in nature and do not bind nor become the official action of NCSS unless the board of directors concurs.

5.43 Advice to Board

Through its designated representative, the chairperson of the Steering Committee, the House may advise the board of directors concerning the affairs of the council. The chairperson serves as an ex officio member of the NCSS Board of Directors and of the Executive Committee with full voting rights.

5.44 NCSS Substantive Priority

Each year the House of Delegates will be asked to address the substantive priority identified by the board of directors for the year.

5.5 Procedures of the House

5.5.1 House of Delegates Manual

See the House of Delegates Manual for detailed procedures of the House.

5.6 Standing Committees of the House

The House of Delegates has standing committees which review and advise the House on specific areas of operations. Standing committees of the House are Steering Committee and Resolutions Committee.

5.6.1 Composition of House Standing Committees

Each person elected to a standing committee of the House must be a member of the House of Delegates at the time of his/her election. (See the House of Delegates Manual for the limitation on persons elected from each state.)

5.6.2 Resolutions Committee

5.6.2.1 Composition

Five members, elected by the House. The term of office shall be two years with three members elected in even-numbered years and two members elected in odd-numbered years.

5.6.2.2 Time of meeting

At the annual conference. The committee holds open hearings and other sessions as necessary to prepare the drafts of resolutions to present to the House of Delegates.

5.6.2.3 Duties of the Committee

5.6.2.3.1 To elect a chairperson whose one-year term commences at the time of election and expires with the election of a successor one year hence. Electors will include outgoing and continuing members of the Resolutions Committee. The election is held immediately following the final session of the Annual Meeting of the House of Delegates.

5.6.2.3.2 To conduct an open hearing the morning of the day of the opening of the House of Delegates for the following purposes:

  • Meet with sponsors of mailed-in resolutions
  • Receive resolutions from NCSS members or affiliate representatives
  • Accept, return for revision, or reject resolutions in accordance with provisions of the House Manual specifying what proposed resolutions may and may not contain, by majority vote of the committee (See HOD Manual, Article IX, Sections 3, 4)
  • Formulate resolutions of its own when an area of concern has not been otherwise presented
  • Formulate all courtesy and commendation resolutions
  • Classify, title, and number each resolution being presented to the House
  • Avoid recommending an altered/revised resolution not approved by its sponsor.

5.6.2.3.3 To be present in the delegate assembly to assist the chairperson of the committee during question and discussion periods.

5.6.2.3.4 To be present in the delegate assembly to assist the HOD Steering Committee during voting proceedings and as deemed necessary. (added March 2017)

5.6.2.4 Duties of the Chairperson

5.6.2.4.1 Receive business files and records from the immediate past chairperson of the committee.

5.6.2.4.2 Organize the work of the Resolutions Committee as outlined in its duties above.

5.6.2.4.3 Inform the committee through correspondence of meeting dates, places, and times.

5.6.2.4.4 Issue to affiliated councils and groups a call for resolutions at least forty-five (45) days prior to the date of the scheduled open hearing of the Resolutions Committee. The call, a mailing, includes:

  • Sample copy of the proper resolution format.
  • Names and addresses of committee members to whom resolutions may be sent.
  • Announcement of date, place, and time open hearings will be held prior to the annual House of Delegates meeting.
  • Announcement of the hour after which walk-in resolutions will not be accepted.
  • Request that the sponsor or a representative of the sponsor of the resolution appear at the open hearing to discuss the proposed resolution.

5.6.2.4.5 Send a copy of the call for resolutions to each Resolutions Committee member, the president, the secretary of the House of Delegates, and the chairperson of the Steering Committee.

5.6.2.4.6 Contact the secretary of the House of Delegates for the following functions:

  • arrange for typing and reproduction of final drafts of resolutions approved by the committee
  • verify the manner in which final drafts of resolutions will be distributed to the delegate assembly
  • arrange for the distribution of printed materials which report the board of directors' disposition of resolutions passed by the previous delegate assembly.

5.6.2.4.7 Provide copies of the list of approved resolutions (numbers and titles) to the president, secretary of the House, chairperson of the Steering Committee, and parliamentarian prior to the opening session of the annual meeting of the House of Delegates.

5.6.2.4.8 Personally contact or assign committee members to contact, prior to the opening session of the House, each sponsor of a resolution in order that he/she may be informed of the acceptance or rejection of the resolution.

5.6.2.4.9 Formally present and introduce each member of the Resolutions Committee to the delegate assembly.

5.6.2.4.10 Announce to the delegate assembly, following consultation with the secretary of the House, the time and place where single copies of resolutions passed by the assembly will be available for distribution the following day.

5.6.2.4.11 Present and move the adoption of each resolution approved by the committee at the designated time on the agenda of the annual meeting of the House of Delegates.

5.6.2.4.12 Arrange with the president to report to the House of Delegates the disposition of each resolution passed at the previous annual meeting of the delegate assembly.

5.6.3 Steering Committee

5.6.3.1 Composition. Five members, elected by the House for two-year staggered terms: three members elected in even-numbered years and two members elected in odd-numbered years.

5.6.3.2 Time of meetings. Twice annually, once during the annual conference and once in the spring.

5.6.3.3 Duties

5.6.3.3.1 Elect a chairperson each year following the election of new members by vote of the outgoing, continuing, and new members of the Committee.

5.6.3.3.2 Identify issues of concern to NCSS.

5.6.3.3.3 Put issues into the proper form for consideration by the House of delegates where appropriate to do so.

5.6.3.3.4 Serve as an originator of ideas and as a channel for the conveyance of ideas that are pertinent to the deliberations of the House of Delegates.

5.6.3.3.5 Select and provide appropriate materials to all delegates and to state and local councils.

5.6.3.3.6 Facilitate reasoned deliberations by the councils and by the House of Delegates on matters to be considered at the annual conference.

5.6.3.3.7 Consult with the board of directors, through the chairperson, on issues of concern to both bodies.

5.6.3.3.8 Brief new delegates to the House of Delegates at an open meeting prior to the opening session of the House.

5.6.3.3.9 Approve the minutes of the annual meeting of the House of Delegates and distribute a copy to each member of the delegate assembly.

5.6.3.3.10 Prepare the agenda for the annual meeting of the House of Delegates and distribute a copy to each member of the delegate assembly.

5.6.3.3.11 Revise the House of Delegates Manual when appropriate and in order to keep it consistent with the NCSS Constitution, the Articles of Incorporation, and NCSS board policies.

5.6.3.4 Chairperson's Term

The chairperson shall be elected each year following the close of the final session of the annual meeting of the House of Delegates. The term of office as chair of the committee and as ex officio member of the board of directors shall begin on the first day of January following the election. The newly-elected chair of the Steering Committee shall be invited to attend the November meeting of the board of directors prior to becoming an ex officio member of the board.

5.6.3.5 Chairperson's Duties

5.6.3.5.1 Serve as an ex officio member of the NCSS Board of Directors and as a member of the Executive Committee with full voting rights on both, representing the interests of the House of Delegates.

5.6.3.5.2 Appoint the members of the Credentials Committee with the approval of the Steering Committee.

5.6.3.5.3 Prepare and deliver to the board of directors reports describing the work of House committees.

5.6.3.5.4 Consult with the Executive Committee before May 1 to establish and confirm the annual funding and budget for committees of the House.

5.6.3.5.5 Coordinate activities of the Steering Committee with the president and the executive director of NCSS.

5.6.3.5.6 Prepare agendas for Steering Committee meetings and correspond with committee members.

5.6.3.5.7 Prepare with the Steering Committee the published agenda for the annual meeting of the House of Delegates. Present a copy of the agenda to the president and to the director of meetings and marketing for inclusion in the annual conference program.

5.6.3.5.8 Schedule and confirm with the NCSS director of meetings the dates, hours, and rooms for formal meetings of house committees conducting business during the annual conference.

5.6.3.5.9 Arrange with the NCSS director of council services the dates, hours, and location for the spring Steering Committee meeting.

5.6.3.5.10 Conduct, with the assistance of the Steering Committee, the new delegates briefing session prior to the opening session of the annual meeting of the House of Delegates.

5.6.3.5.11 Confirm procedure with the parliamentarian of the House of Delegates prior to the opening session of the house.

5.6.3.5.12 Preside over all business related to House committees during the annual meeting of the House of Delegates, including:

  • Arrange for House committee reports.
  • Deliver the Steering Committee report.
  • Conduct nominations and roll call of states.
  • Introduce and present nominated candidates.
  • Conduct the house committee elections.
  • Announce the election results.

5.6.3.5.13 Deliver records and files of Steering Committee business to the newly-elected chairperson.

5.7 Ad-Hoc Committees of the House

5.71 Credentials Committee

5.7.1.1 Composition

The committee is composed of five non-voting members appointed by the chair of the Steering Committee with the Steering Committee's approval. The Steering Committee chair shall insure that some members of the committee have prior experience on the committee.

5.7.1.2 Tasks

5.7.1.2.1 To insure that only properly certified delegates are admitted to the delegate assembly as voting members.

5.7.1.2.2 To meet with the secretary of the House of Delegates and/or Steering Committee chair to organize and review procedures prior to the first session of the delegate assembly.

5.7.1.2.3 To count ballots and other votes.

5.7.1.2.4 To deliver all messages from outside the meeting hall to delegates.

5.7.1.2.5 To prevent the distribution of unauthorized literature to the House of Delegates.

5.7.1.2.6 To use a master list of delegates prepared by the secretary of the House of Delegates to check off those delegates who have been pre-certified as they arrive at the entrance to the House of Delegates.

5.7.1.2.7 To certify legitimate delegates not pre-certified.

5.7.1.2.8 To prepare delegate badges.