What is the Status of the Administrative Directives?
As of May, 2003, the Legal Services Department is in the process of helping the Board transfer the useful guidelines from the Directives into the corresponding Policies. This is a slow process; it is done one Policy at a time. Meanwhile, to the extent that any Directive contains useful, up-to-date guidance, it should be followed as the expectations of the Administration. To the extent that any portion of a Directive conflicts with a Policy or state or federal law, that portion should not be followed. On the other hand, the portions that are correct, legally-sound, and up-to-date must be observed.
Many Directives contain useful guidelines that should be followed because they are the most appropriate way to do the thing addressed. The effect of a Directive is as if the Superintendent had said to an employee, "I expect you to do X in the following manner, as I interpret the corresponding Policy . . . ." On the other hand, some Directives are outdated.
Directives were guidelines provided by past Superintendents, generally to provide more detail on matters addressed in a related Policy. Traditionally, a Directive has been considered to be in force (and was to be followed) until it was formally repealed by the Superintendent at a Cabinet meeting. For example, during the tenures of Dr. Kowal and Dr. Marlin, some individual Directives were repealed at Cabinet meetings.
Due to the current plan of consolidating the Directives into the Policies, the current Superintendent has not been involved with Directives during his tenure: no repeals, revisions, or new Directives. If any portion of a Directive is not outdated and does not conflict with current Policies or statutes, that portion will be added to a revised version of the corresponding Policy.
How should the Directives be viewed currently, while the process of incorporation into Policies gains momentum? Absent an express repeal of the Directives by the Superintendent, the best answer may be as follows: Although many portions of some Directives may still contain useful guidance and should be followed, we also recognize that some Directives were promulgated many years ago and may contain outdated information, antiquated procedures, or inaccurate guidelines that conflict with more recent Policies or state law. In our opinion, the outdated and inaccurate portions are no longer useful and should not be followed. On the other hand, the portions that are correct, legally-sound, and up-to-date must be observed.