Monday, February 25, 2013

State Senate committee recommends school board members take open government training

New school board members would have to undergo at least one hour of training in the state's Open Records and Meeting laws, under a bill recommended Monday by the Senate Education Committee.
Senate Bill 91, by Sen. Eddie Fields, R-Wynona, would amend current training requirements for school board members that must be completed within 15 months of being elected or appointed.
Otherwise, the school board member must vacate the seat and cannot be reappointed or re-elected for three to five years, depending upon how many members serve on the school board. (Okla. Stat. tit. 70, 5-110(C))
That's an important difference from the open government training requirement for newly elected municipal officials. That statute requires the training to be completed in their first year of office or they "shall cease to hold the office." However, it doesn't explicitly prohibit them from being reappointed once the training is completed. (OKLA. STAT. tit. 11, § 8-114(E))
In December, Kiowa trustees reinstated a former trustee who had been forced to resign because he hadn't taken the training.
SB 91 was approved unanimously by Sens. Josh Brecheen, Earl Garrison, Jim Halligan, David Holt, Ron Sharp, Wayne Shaw, Gary Stanislawski and John Ford.

Joey Senat, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
OSU School of Media & Strategic Communications
The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the commentators and do not necessarily represent the position of FOI Oklahoma Inc., its staff, or its board of directors. Differing interpretations of open government law and policy are welcome.

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