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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.

Do we have to take minutes at a board retreat and if so do we have to have them approved at the board meeting? - 7/22/16

Are school board members held to the same standard as volunteers in the school district in terms of fingerprinting and background checks? - 7/22/16

If a quorum of the board attends a public forum does the forum have to be posted as a board meeting? - 6/17/16

Can a board add an executive session to an agenda after the meeting has started, even if the executive session wasn't included on the original meeting posting? - 6/10/16

Are charter school boards subject to public meetings and public records requirements? - 6/03/16

Can board members vote by email? - 5/27/16

If we've voted, but later want to change that motion, how do we do it? - 5/20/16

What ethical and conflict of interest obligations do Board members have when they know and/or are related to someone who works for the district? - 5/13/16

What guidelines apply to gifts given by parents or students to teachers, or by staff members and employees and board members to each other? - 4/29/16

We are filling a vacant board position. One of the applicants is related to a current board member. Can the current board member participate in the interviews, discussion and vote? - 4/22/16

A budget committee member withdrew before the end of her term (June 2016). The board has voted in a new budget committee member to take her place. Does this new member serve three years from now or does the board have to vote this member in again once the original term is finished – June 2016? - 4/15/16

Once the budget committee and board have approved the budget, does the superintendent have to bring any change to any of the line items to the board for approval before the expense can be made? - 4/08/16

We have a five member board and currently have only two 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 seven members, half would be four to approve any motion? - 4/01/16

What are the roles and the responsibilities of the budget committee? - 3/25/16

Can a budget committee member be appointed at a budget committee meeting or does this appointment have to be made at a board meeting? - 3/18/16