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Can bylaws refer to other bylaws


Guest Shannon L
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I am on a board of trustees for a school (PreK - 12th) which operates as a ministry of a church.  The headmaster of the church reports to the board and is hired and fired by the board.  The board reports to the vestry committee of the church.

Our bylaws refer to the bylaws of the church.  Is this an acceptable practice? Should the bylaws of the church always be included as an attachment to our bylaws? Or do we have to include the relevant parts of the church's bylaws within our bylaws?

We receive a critique of our bylaws stating that the reference to the church's bylaws "compromises clarity of the duty of the Vestry in this school related role".

Any advice here?

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I don't see any problem with saying something like "in accordance with the Bylaws of X."  That ensures that you remain consistent with those bylaws if they change, whereas copying portions into your bylaws (in addition to being less elegant) will make you differ if the other organization changes theirs.  I'm not clear on the relationship between the organizations here, though.  Is the church in some way the parent organization of the school?

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42 minutes ago, Guest Shannon L said:

Our bylaws refer to the bylaws of the church.  Is this an acceptable practice? Should the bylaws of the church always be included as an attachment to our bylaws? Or do we have to include the relevant parts of the church's bylaws within our bylaws?

 

Yes, that is an acceptable practice.  I agree with Mr. Katz that actually copying part of the church bylaws or attaching them to your own bylaws could cause problems if the church bylaws get amended. 

44 minutes ago, Guest Shannon L said:

We receive a critique of our bylaws stating that the reference to the church's bylaws "compromises clarity of the duty of the Vestry in this school related role".

Any advice here?

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I really don't understand how the reference to the church's bylaws "compromises the clarity of the Vestry in this school related role" , so I cannot intelligently comment on it.  Perhaps the way it is worded in your bylaws leads to confusion.  I have no idea.  I would just suggest that you re-read the relevant portions of your bylaws carefully to satisfy yourselves that those provisions are indeed clear.

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