Rhode Island Teachers of English Language Learners
Constitution and Bylaws
Article I Name
The name of the organization shall be Rhode Island Teachers of English Language Learners (RITELL) and shall be abbreviated RITELL. The association shall be an affiliate of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other languages (TESOL), an international professional organization whose mission is to develop and maintain professional expertise in English language teaching and learning for speakers of other languages worldwide.
Article II Mission
RITELL’s mission is to develop, maintain and promote professional expertise in English language teaching for speakers of other languages by determining the professional development and advocacy needs of teachers serving English Language Learners in Early Childhood, Elementary, Secondary, Adult, Workplace and Higher Education Programs in Rhode Island.
Article III Purpose
RITELL is a professional, non-profit organization organized for the following purposes:
Notwithstanding any other provision of these articles, RITELL is organized exclusively for aforementioned educational purposes as specified in section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, and shall not carry on activities not permitted to be carried on by a corporation exempt from federal income tax under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.
No part of the net earnings of the association shall benefit any member or officer of the association, or, any private individual (except that reasonable compensation may be paid for services rendered to or for the association), and no member or officer shall be entitled to share in the distribution of any of the association’s assets upon dissolution of the association.
No substantial part of the activities of the association shall be carrying on propaganda; or otherwise attempting to influence legislation [except as otherwise provided by the Internal Revenue code section 501 (h)] or participating in, or intervening in (including the publication or distribution of statements), any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.
The assets of the association shall be permanently dedicated to exempt purposes, as described in section 501 (c) (3). Therefore, in the event of dissolution, all of the remaining assets and property of the association shall, after payment of necessary expenses thereof, be distributed to such organizations as shall qualify under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended, or to another organization to be used in such manner as in the judgment of a Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island will best accomplish the general purposes for which this association was formed.
Article IV Membership
Section I Categories of Membership
Section II Membership Year
The Membership year will run from October 1 to September 30. Members will be notified annually, by electronic means only, of their expired membership by the Membership Officer. Because of the electronic distribution of membership notices, members are responsible for notifying RITELL of any changes in their e-mail addresses.
Article V Meetings
An Annual Business Meeting open to all members will be held as a part of the spring professional development event although, in special circumstances, a different date and time may be determined by the Board of Directors for this meeting. Other member meetings may be called at the discretion of the Board.
Article VI Board of Directors/Coordinating Council
The Board of Directors or Coordinating Council of RITELL will consist of 8-11 members. Candidates will run for the Board of Directors and be elected by the general membership. From among those elected to the Board of Directors or Coordinating Council of RITELL, and by a majority vote of the Board of Directors, officers will be named to the following offices: President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, Membership Secretary, Treasurer, Advocacy Representative, Editor, and a Representative at Large. The Board can add additional positions as needed, up to 11 members total. The term of office for Board of Directors/Coordinating Council members shall be three years with the possibility of one renewal for an additional three years. Officers will be appointed from within the Executive Board as previously outlined. The Board of Directors/Coordinating Council will be elected from the general membership in the following manner: A slate will be prepared by the Recording Secretary prior to the Spring meeting of the people interested in filling Board of Directors/Coordinating Council positions. All members nominated to serve on the Board shall be paid members of RITELL. In case of a tie, a run-off election will be held at the annual meeting prior to announcing the election results. No member may submit more than one ballot. In order to meet the requirements of TESOL affiliates, at least two members of the board, in addition to the President, must be members of TESOL. Therefore, all nominees should be advised of these requirements prior to submitting their name for consideration.
Should vacancies arise on the Board, it will be filled by a vote of the Executive Board/Coordinating Council until the next election, at which time the normal election procedures will be followed.
The Board of Directors/Coordinating Council shall jointly plan all conferences and events for the association. In addition to the offering of professional development events, they are also charged with the routine maintenance of the association. All other actions of the association are to be guided by policies established by members. In order to formulate a policy for the association, the proposed policy must be presented to members at the Annual Business Meeting and must be approved by 40% of all members in good standing of the association. Proposed policies may be approved at the Annual Business Meeting provided a sufficient number of members are present, or they will be mailed to members for approval. Routine business of the association will not be subject to membership approval, only major policy initiatives that would affect the mission and purpose of the association or major financial decisions affecting the association.
In addition, the Board shall meet at least quarterly throughout the year to direct the work of the association and to control its funds. For these quarterly meetings, a quorum consisting of half plus one members of the Board must be present for all voting purposes.
Article VII Amendments
RITELL Constitution and Bylaws 6
Proposed amendments approved by two-thirds of the Board shall be distributed to the members at least 14 days before the Annual Business Meeting, so that it can be discussed at the Annual Business Meeting. To become effective, the proposed amendment must be ratified by 55% of the members. This may be done in person at the Annual Business Meeting provided that 55% of members are present or the amendment may be sent to members by mail for ratification. If an amendment fails to be ratified, it may be proposed in the same manner at another point in time.
Article VII Voting
At all meetings, except for the election of officers, all votes shall be by voice. For election of officers, a ballot will be provided and all votes shall be cast anonymously. Members of the Board of Directors/Coordinating Council will be elected by a majority vote and this election will occur as the first item of business at the annual meeting of the organization. At the conclusion of the balloting, the chairman of such meeting shall communicate to the secretary the results to be included in the minutes of that meeting. In case of a tie, a runoff election will be held at the annual meeting prior to announcing the election results.
Officers will be named through a process of majority vote of the Board of Directors/Coordinating Council at the first meeting after their election. The offices to be held by each member of the Board of Directors will then be announced to members of the association via electronic means.
Article VIII Parliamentary Authority
Roberts Rules of Order shall govern the meetings of RITELL in all cases to which they are applicable. The President may appoint a parliamentarian to give advice on procedural matters.