Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
SECTION 1. Subsection 5.1 of section 1 of chapter 425 of the acts of 1983 is hereby amended by striking out paragraph (a) and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:-
(a) Composition - There shall be a school committee consisting of seven members which shall exercise general management and control of the public schools of the city. Six of these members, to be known as district members, shall be nominated and elected by and from the voters of the six districts, one district member to be elected from each such district. The Mayor shall serve as the seventh member of the school committee and as its chairman with full power to vote.
SECTION 2. Said subsection 5.1 of said section 1 of said chapter 425 is hereby further amended by striking out paragraph (c) and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:-
(c) Election and Term - The term of office of all members of the school committee provided for in section 1 shall be for two years beginning at 7:00 o'clock in the evening on the first secular day in January following their election and shall continue until their successors have been chosen and qualified.
SECTION 3. The first election of the six district members of the school committee of the city of Lawrence as provided in paragraph (a) of subsection 5.1 of section 5 of the charter for said city shall take place during the regularly scheduled general annual elections to be held in the year 2001.
SECTION 4. The boundaries of the six school committee districts of the city of Lawrence shall be established by the city council no later than 75 days after the city of Lawrence receives the official 2000 decennial census information for said city from the United States Bureau of the Census.
SECTION 5. During the 75 day period referred to in section 4, the city council of the city of Lawrence shall hold a public hearing for the purpose of receiving the guidance of the inhabitants of the city on the school committee system and its compliance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended, and the one person one vote principle of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States based on the population data contained in the 2000 decennial census. The city council shall also during the 75 day period consult with the attorneys for the United States in the case entitled United States v. City of Lawrence , Civil Action No. 98-12256-WGY, in order to solicit the United States' views on the school committee system which comply with the act and the one person one vote principle of the Fourteenth Amendment based on the population data contained in the 2000 decennial census. Where it deems it advisable, the city council shall also consult with any experts on the act, apportionment and districting for the purpose of seeking guidance on adopting a school committee system which complies with the act and the one person one vote principle of the Fourteenth Amendment.
SECTION 6. This act shall take effect upon its passage.