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Limitations on Membership
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Membership Qualification

Membership is open to all persons who are interested in furtherance of the purposes of the Corporation, provided however: membership shall not normally be available to (1) persons currently employed by, or receive more than 50% of their income from, state, intermediate or local education agencies, as those terms are defined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), or (2) attorneys who represent such agencies or who have represented such agencies within five years from the date of their application for membership, or (3) advocates or related professionals who provide representation, advice or consultation to such agencies or who have provided such services within five years from the date of the application for membership. This limitation shall not preclude membership by organizations established to assist parents of children with disabilities that receive the majority of their funding from federal or state sources. This limitation also is not intended to preclude membership by evaluators who conduct Independent Educational Evaluations on behalf of parents of children with disabilities that are funded by school districts.


 

A. An employee of an education agency described in (1) above, who is also the parent of a child with a disability, may be considered for membership only after being nominated for membership by two current COPAA members. After nomination, the individual must be interviewed by a member of COPAA designated by the COPAA Chair. The interview shall be conducted in a manner designated by the COPAA Chair. The Board Member shall present the proposal for membership to the Board with a recommendation to approve or disapprove. A three-fourths majority of the Board members must vote in favor of such membership. The proposed member shall sign an agreement to abide by the list serve rules and not disclose any communications from the list serve. The proposed member shall not access the COPAA databanks nor the list serve email using either a school district computer and or school district email address.

B. A related professional who provides or has provided representation, advice or consultation, as described in (3) above, in the course of their work as a consultant, expert, expert witness or evaluator, may be considered for membership only after being nominated for membership by two current COPAA members. After nomination, the individual must be interviewed by a member of COPAA designated by the COPAA Chair. The interview shall be conducted in a manner designated by the COPAA Chair. The Board Member shall present the proposal for membership to the Board with a recommendation to approve or disapprove. A three-fourths majority of the Board members must vote in favor of such membership. The proposed member shall sign an agreement to abide by the list serve rules and not disclose any communications from the list serve. 


C. A school board member who is an attorney, advocate, parent of a child with a disability, or other person may be considered for COPAA membership if they advocate for the educational rights of children with disabilities. This includes any person who has been elected or appointed to a school board but whose term has not begun. No school board member who does not advocate for the educational rights of children with disabilities may be considered for COPAA membership. Either a Board member or COPAA member designated by the Board shall interview the school board member, either by telephone or in person, during which the school board member shall describe his/her previous and future planned advocacy activities. An existing COPAA member shall notify the Board of Directors if he/she is elected or appointed to a school board, and provide the interview on the first renewal of his/her COPAA membership, and every 3 years thereafter. The Board may vote to waive the interview for an existing COPAA member, if the description of advocacy activities is provided in writing. The Membership Committee will make a recommendation regarding COPAA membership to the Board and a two-thirds majority of the Board must approve the membership application. The proposed member shall sign an agreement to abide by the listserv rules and not disclose any communications from the listserv. He/she shall not access the COPAA databanks nor the listserv email using either a school district computer and or school district email address. If the school board has taken an action by resolution or other official action, to participate in IDEA, Section 504, or other special-education litigation in court, the member must resign his/her membership in COPAA.

(COPAA Bylaws, 9-2012 revision)

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