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Ask Betsy's Team - Frequently Asked Questions

OSBA staff answers some common (and not so common) questions about board governance, board members' roles and responsibilities, good practices, running board meetings and board conflict. Don't see the answer to your question? Ask Betsy's Team!

Dear members:

Your Ask Betsy Team is dedicated to assisting you by responding to all of your questions. Additionally, we are committed to providing you with the best possible information, tools, and practices in a timely manner. There are times when we must research, or consult with other OSBA staff members to provide an answer to your questions. In these circumstances, we ask for your patience as the normal response time could potentially be delayed. Please expect an initial response, by phone or email, within 24-48 hours of submitting your question, and be aware that additional follow-up could take more time. If your question is time sensitive, please be sure to specify your deadlines in your initial request.

Thank you, we look forward to hearing from you!

Legal Disclaimer: The information contained on this site should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding your particular situation, please seek the advice of OSBA’s legal services or independent counsel.


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The most recent questions are listed below.

What is the term limit for a board member serving as board chair? - 4/17/14

We recently voted as a board to place an operating levy on the upcoming ballot. We have a 5-member board. Now, three board members each have an interest in actively serving on the "LETS PASS THE LEVY" Political Action Committee (PAC). Can three of us meet as members of the PAC meetings (all held off school district property, all outside of school hours, etc)? - 4/11/14

Can Martin Luther King day be used as a makeup school day? Are there any rules which identify what can and cannot occur on a holiday? - 4/04/14

We have a five member board and currently have only 2 budget committee members available to participate. How do we proceed if we cannot fill the other three positions? Would we consider that if we have 7 members, half would be 4 to approve any motion? - 3/28/14

Given all the new changes within the state and the country regarding legal and medical marijuana, what is our school's obligation to individuals who bring marijuana on to campus but have a medical marijuana card? - 3/21/14

We had a resignation for an open position last night at our board meeting. If we end up with a tie vote for the new position, which is a real possibility for us, what happens? Does the chair break the vote? - 3/14/14

Do we need to perform background checks on applicants for vacant board positions? - 3/07/14

Can the board meet in executive session to receive an update on employee performance in general? - 2/28/14

Do we have to release the audio or videotape of board meetings or can we give them only the written minutes? - 2/21/14

Can a board member attend the board meeting and vote over the phone? Are absentee ballots permitted? - 1/24/14

Is it good practice or required to limit the topics of public comment to agenda items only? - 12/19/13

Can the chair refuse to take a motion? What recourse do other board members have? - 12/13/13

Is it legal for the superintendent to talk with a board member in closed-door sessions? The board member discusses the issue with all of the other members before the meeting. - 12/06/13

If all of the board members are not present at a board meeting (but we have a quorum, three of five), is it true that if anyone votes "no" on an item, the motion fails? - 11/22/13

If a board member declares a conflict of interest, is he required to state for the minutes the reason he is declaring a conflict? And after declaring a conflict of interest, does he have the right to vote on the motion? - 11/08/13