The details vary widely by state and are changing rapidly.
If you’re unclear about how to ensure open meeting law compliance without gathering in person, check with your state, your authorizer, and/or your legal counsel to get the advice that’s specific to your situation.
- Maintain good process and do your best to meet the spirit of the law.
- Use the tools in BoardOnTrack to collaborate wisely.
- Remain aware of what's happening at the state level.
- Notify the public of your virtual meetings and how they can participate.
- Understand what you’re required to share following each meeting, and when.
- Continue to use the BoardOnTrack Public Portal as you always have to ensure the public has access to key information.
Maintain good process and do your best to meet the spirit of the law.
The public has entrusted millions of taxpayer dollars to the volunteer board governing the charter school.
Open meeting laws ensure the public gets to see you doing business. It ensures that you establish and maintain that trust.
Even if certain restrictions are lifted, do your best to meet the spirit of those laws.
Continue your good habits to maintain transparency and good documentation. Take good minutes. Publish them on time. Even if you don't have to right now.
Use the tools in BoardOnTrack to collaborate wisely.
Even with open meeting laws being refined to allow for virtual meetings, the world still doesn't necessarily want you to collaborate virtually.
When you collaborate in BoardOnTrack, you are safely continuing board operations while still following key regulations and social distancing needs.
Use the tools available to you to share your agendas before you finalize and publish them, to get the word out via the Posts function when there’s something your team needs to know, or to finalize your Minutes and publish them within the expected timeline.
- What is “Open Meeting Law,” and can we really be an effective board and comply with this law?
- Tips to Comply with the Open Meeting Law
- How do we make sure our minutes comply with open meeting law requirements?
- Take our Open Meeting Law Pop Quiz
Remain aware of what's happening at the state level.
Normally, the CEO or staff would be responsible for tracking the notice for your state's open meeting law and related requirements.
Right now, everyone on the governance team needs to keep aware of open meeting law compliance; to ensure that you continue to operate transparently and enable public participation. That includes each board member.
- Look to your state, authorizer, and/or legal counsel. Understand what you can or are required to do, even as things constantly and rapidly change.
- Look to the team at BoardOnTrack for help with how to utilize our tools and resources and stay compliant with what the relevant authorities are outlining.
Notify the public of your virtual meetings and how they can participate.
Know what how you’re going to meet virtually, and how you’ll notify the public via your Agenda published to your Public Portal. [More about meeting virtually here.]
Some boards might have the option to meet in private and make the recording available, others might be required to live stream your meetings. So know what’s expected of you now.
Open meeting laws generally apply to meetings in which you're voting or just deliberating. Even if you're just talking about ways you might need to reallocate funds, but not voting on that, those deliberations need to be open and available to the public.
Understand what you’re required to share following each meeting, and when.
Will you be required to post your minutes only, or also the recording of your virtual meeting?
If it’s the latter, will you be required to post video as well as audio?
Zoom makes it easy to save video or audio recordings of your meetings, and download the files. BoardOnTrack makes it easy to upload that recording [in the documentation section of your meeting], so that your public has access to it as your specific guidelines might require.
Continue to use the BoardOnTrack Public Portal as you always have to ensure the public has access to key information.
Make sure you’re taking steps to allow the public to know when you’re meeting, see what’s on your agenda, and access your minutes within the required amount of time following your meeting.
- Setting up your public portal
- Publishing an agenda to your public portal
- Publishing minutes to your public portal
If you need help ensuring that your Public Portal is set up correctly, contact us.
And, the team is hard at work right now building in new features to support your board’s shift to virtual operations. We’ll keep you posted on new tools coming soon.
This situation is evolving rapidly. We’re working fast to build new tools, resources, and services to support you through the crisis. Please reach out to us directly if you have any questions or requests.