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UEN Bylaws

(Most recently updated - November 2019)

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 charter 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 a member 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 by-laws.  

The Urban Education Network includes the eight charter member districts and nine non-charter districts as of July 1, 2019 as long as they retain membership, including Cedar Falls, College, Ft. Dodge, Linn-Mar, Marshalltown, Mason City, Muscatine, Ottumwa and Southeast Polk.

The Urban Education Network may extend membership to additional member non-charter districts upon the recommendation of the Steering Committee and a two-thirds vote of the membership. Associate Membership is available to districts which meet four of the following six criteria:  

  1. 3,000 or more students enrolled,
  2. 30% or more of the student population identified as free/reduced price lunch eligible,
  3. 9% or more of students have individual education plans (IEPs),
  4. 10% of more of students receive Limited-English Proficient services,
  5. 1% of more of students identified as immigrant,
  6. 75% or fewer of students are white.

UEN membership entitles district participation in lobbying efforts, including UEN analysis of legislation, assistance with local advocacy plan development, participation in UEN calls to action and support for visits to the Capitol as necessary.  Also, member districts are invited to participate in the UEN Annual Meeting; and participate in UEN Job-Alike meetings. Job-Alike meetings are scheduled periodically for those staff members with the same or similar performance responsibilities. The Executive Director is authorized to invite nonmember district staff to Job-Alike meetings for an appropriate fee sufficient to cover reasonable costs and value of participation.

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; 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 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.


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.  The Chair-Elect (1) shall temporarily serve as president if the Chairperson is unable to serve.

The Chair-Elect 2 (Treasurer) shall work with the executive director to keep account of all money, funds, and property of UEN; to provide financial oversight of budget and revenues/expenditures; conduct an annual audit and prepare an annual financial report to be provided at the Annual Meeting; 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.


Section 5        Steering Committee

The Steering Committee shall meet in the capacity of the board of directors and be composed of eight members representing charter member districts as previously set forth.  Every consideration shall be given to an equitable rotation of leadership positions among the member districts. The executive director will develop and maintain a sequential leadership schedule, strive toward balanced membership on the steering committee between superintendents and board members as possible, and make the leadership schedule available to the member districts. In addition, a superintendent or board member of each additional member district shall be invited to participate as a Steering Committee member. In the event that a Steering Committee member is unable to attend a Steering Committee meeting, the superintendent of the member’s district or another board member from the member’s district may attend. Each Steering Committee member is entitled to one vote. 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 to be presented to the members attending the annual meeting.  5.  Final approval of UEN legislative priorities is determined by the Steering Committee, with each member district allotted one vote, at any time prior or during but no later than the annual meeting. 


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 will issue a quarterly financial report to the Steering Committee.


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, the district next in rotation 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 opinion 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 Urban Education Network will meet in Des Moines, Iowa for the annual meeting, and at other such times as agreed upon. 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 charter 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 share in the responsibility of recording, filing and making available to the membership accurate minutes of all Steering Committee meetings. The notes of all general meetings are available to interested parties. Urban Education Network communications will be minimally submitted to the superintendent and to the Board President of each member district but may be distributed more broadly as determined by the Executive Director.   Communications specific to job-alike staff shall be submitted to job-alike participants with meeting highlights shared with superintendent and Board Presidents 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 By-laws

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


Additional Details


The Urban Education Network of Iowa is organized and governed in accordance with the official by-laws as revised.


Steering Committee Membership
The UEN Steering Committee shall consist of eight representatives of the original charter member districts; Cedar Rapids; Council Bluffs; Davenport; Des Moines; Dubuque; Iowa City; Sioux City; Waterloo four superintendents and four board members. Steering Committee members serve a four-year term on a rotation schedule. Only superintendents of charter district members shall serve as chairperson. Chair-Elect (1) serves as Vice-Chair. Chair-Elect (2) serves as Treasurer.


Steering Committee Membership 2014-2021 - Charter District Member Rotation




Chair-Elect (2)

Past Chair

Board Member I

Board Member II

Board Member III

Board Member IV


Cedar Rapids



Council Bluffs

Iowa City


Des Moines

Sioux City




Iowa City

Cedar Rapids


Des Moines

Sioux City

Council Bluffs



Iowa City



Des Moines

Sioux City

Council Bluffs

Cedar Rapids


Executive Director
The Steering Committee is empowered to employ an Executive Director to serve as the chief administrative officer of the organization.


Membership fees
Member districts are annually assessed a membership fee as determined by the Steering Committee.