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!
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.
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
Our superintendent has suggested the board have lunch together at an OSBA conference. I take it this would be illegal if we have a quorum or more board members present? - 10/31/13
Are school board members considered mandatory reporters? If not, how should a board member address the issue of child abuse inside the district or outside of the district? - 10/25/13
Do we have to put a notice of our board meetings in the newspaper? Do we have to adopt a newspaper of record? - 10/18/13
How can we be clear about motions and amendments so that all the board and those in the audience understand what the board is voting on? - 10/04/13
A complaint has been filed against a staff member which has progressed through the complaint procedure and has been appealed to the school board. The staff member who the complaint is against has requested the complaint be heard by the Board in public session. We anticipate both sides of the issue may have supporters in attendance. After the board reviews the complaint and the superintendent’s response, may we go into executive session to deliberate or do we have to do all of that in public session as well? - 9/27/13
Our board will be interviewing three candidates to fill one vacant position on our board due to a resignation. While all interviews/conversations must be completed in public, it is difficult to talk about the applicants in public. Do you have any advice for a school board as it launches into this very public process? - 9/20/13