Policies of a school district, especially those negotiated with bargaining representatives for the protection of teachers, have the full force and effect of law, and legally bind the school district. Wessington Springs Ed. Assoc. v. Wessington springs Sch. Dist., 467 N.W. 2d 101 (S.D. 1991).
By Director of Policy and Legal Services Gerry Kaufman
The ASBSD Policy Review Committee recently finalized work on a number of policies which deal with School Board meetings. Those amended policies include:
- BD: School Board Meetings
- The amendment to sample policy BD adds the statutory requirement that a period of public comments be afforded at every regularly scheduled school board meeting.
- BDC: Executive Sessions
- The amendment to sample policy BDC adds the newly authorized reason for going into executive session, i.e., to discuss emergency or disaster response plans or protocols, etc.;
- It clarifies that consulting with legal counsel includes discussing matters to which the attorney-client privilege attaches;
- Also reinforces the requirement that an executive session can only be held on majority vote of board members and the discussion in executive session is limited to the reason given in the motion for entering executive session.
- BDDB: Board Meeting Agendas and Format
- The amendment to sample policy BDDC adds public forum, adoption of the agenda, consent agenda and committee reports to the sample agenda format;
- Also reinforces the requirement that the specific subsection of SDCL 1-25-2 must be used in the motion for going into executive session.
- BDDC: Agenda Preparation and Dissemination
- The amended policy incorporates the current sample language found in sample policy BDDCA related to the school board receiving board meeting related supplement information;
- Also adds language which addresses the statutory requirement that supporting information must be made available to the public by posting it on the school district website or made available at the business office at least twenty-four hours prior to the meeting, or at the time the material is distributed to the school board, whichever is later.
- BDDCA: Agenda Related Supplemental Information
- The ASBSD Policy Review Committee repealed this sample policy as it was being incorporated in sample policy BDDC.
- BDDH: Public Participation at Board Meetings
- The amendment to sample policy BDDH follows the Legislature’s clarification that public forum is only required at regularly scheduled school board meetings;
- Also emphasizes that some matters are not appropriate for discussion during the public forum.
“If the School Board or School Board President wishes to have the School Board President make an introductory statement at the beginning of the Public Forum, our new Exhibit could be modified at the discretion of the School Board or President to be consistent with local Board policy,” ASBSD Director of Policy and Legal Services Gerry Kaufman said.
The new exhibit is: BDDH-E(2): Introduction to Public Forum.
For questions related to the policies and exhibit, contact Kaufman at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 605-773-2513.
To access the ASBSD Policy Services website, school board members and administrators must login at http://policy.asbsd.org. Your district’s login and password information has been previously provided to your district’s administration.
- BD: School Board Meetings
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