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Does the budget committee have to approve their own minutes? Can the board approve them? Since the budget committee is done after the final budget meeting in which they approve the proposed budget amount, it seems like the board would have to approve at least the final minutes.

 

There is no statutory requirement in Oregon for the board to approve minutes for either board or committee meetings. The law simply requires that minutes are recorded. However, local Board policy may include such a requirement.

Robert’s Rules of Order (RRO), which many boards have adopted as their operations guide, treats approval of the minutes as part of the normal and expected order of business. RRO calls for minutes approval at the next meeting of the body even if a year away or by an executive committee that has been given the authorization to amend and approve. RRO does not address minutes approval by the parent body which in this case is the School Board.

Since the law doesn’t address minutes approval, the board is free to develop and adopt its own process. A few options to consider are:

  • You can wait a year for the budget committee to reconvene and adopt the minutes then;
  • The only practical method of using the executive approach would be to have the committee chair either approve or “accept” the minutes (otherwise, the another committee – the executive committee – would generate the need for yet another set of minutes);
  • You can have the board simply adopt the final minutes;
  • You could have the board vote to “accept” the minutes, with final approval at next year’s first committee meeting; or
  • You could send a draft copy of the Budget Committee minutes as part of the next School Board meeting packet and include distribution to the Budget Committee members; call for discussion of the draft at the next board meeting (inviting ALL Budget Committee members to participate in the discussion); and then, entertain a motion and vote among the board members to adopt.

This final option seems closest to the intention of the minutes approval process, but the board is free to choose the path that makes the most sense to your district.

For more information on this question, Ask Betsy's Team.