Public Records and Open Public Meetings
Effective July 1, 2014, all public school boards (and other elected members of governing bodies of public agencies) are required to participate in training related to open public meetings and public records retention (Engrossed Senate Bill 5964). The law specifically states that publicly elected officials must receive training within 90 days of the administration of their oath of office, or when they assume their duties. Technically, incumbent school board members would not need to receive training until they are re-elected. However, the Attorney General has recommended all board members receive training during 2014. Board members are further required to participate in ‘refresher trainings’ at least once every four years.
Training may be provided through a variety of means ranging from ‘in-house’ training by staff familiar with the content of the regulations, to online trainings, to external training provided by state agencies, professional organizations and/or private parties. Regardless of the source, documentation of the training is to be maintained locally. You are not required to report participation in training to any outside agencies. For your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) reading pleasure, please follow this link.
As a resource, below please find several resources and a general framework for engaging boards in the required material. The board may elect to review these materials in one or more sessions. I suggest the training and discussion occur either as part of a board work session or as part of the regular board meeting (as informational items for the board). Including the training in your regular board meeting would provide documentation of training and participation within your usual board minutes (avoiding additional recordkeeping).
WSSDA Handout – Open public meetings
The materials might be presented in two 20-minute sessions, with ten minutes of Q/A to conclude each session.
Session 1: Open Public Records (20 minutes)
Print and provide copies of PowerPoint to Board members
Session 2: Open Public Meetings (20 Minutes)
Print and provide copies of PowerPoint to board members
- Presentation – Public Meetings PPT
- Play video (16 minutes- YouTube)
- Conclude with Q/A and Discussion