Posted by Megan E. Greulich on 3/12/2018

Earlier today, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine released an updated version of Ohio Sunshine Laws: An Open Government Resource Manual, which is commonly referred to as the “Yellow Book.” The manual includes information about Ohio’s Public Records Act and Open Meetings Act (collectively referred to as the Sunshine Laws) and includes recent updates. The manual serves as a great…

Posted by Sara Clark on 3/15/2017

Ohio’s Open Meetings Act was enacted in 1975 as Ohio Revised Code Section (RC) 121.22. It, together with the Public Records Act (RC 149.43), is commonly referred to as “the Sunshine law.”

The Open Meetings Act’s basic purpose is to require public bodies, including boards of education to:

  1. Hold public meetings, except where private meetings are specifically authorized by law;
  2. Provide notices of when those meetings will occur…
Posted by Sara Clark on 3/24/2015

All elected officials or their appropriate designees are required to attend public records training approved by the attorney general (RC 149.43(E)).  The training must be for three hours for each term of office for which the elected official was appointed or elected to the public office (RC 109.43(B)).

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office (OAG) has recently made the training available online.  As an alternative to a live three-hour certification training session, public officials or their designees can take the training online. The training consists of 13 separate YouTube videos,…

Posted by Candice Christon on 9/16/2013

On June 30, 2013, House Bill (HB) 59, also known as the budget bill, was signed by Governor Kasich. Effective September 29, 2013, the bill added a new topic to the topics that may be discussed during an executive session of a public body.

Under current law, RC 121.22 (G) provides seven topics, six of which are applicable to school boards, which allow public bodies to remove themselves from public view to engage in discussion regarding certain matters.

As a result of HB 59, school boards will be able to discuss an eighth topic during executive session. This new topic deals…

Posted by Jessica Spears on 11/4/2011

No. In advisory opinion 2011-038 (2011 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 038), the Ohio Attorney General (OAG) concluded that a public body (in this instance the State Board of Education) may not vote in an open meeting by secret ballot. The OAG determined that voting by secret ballot would violate Ohio's open meetings law in much the same way as a violation occurs when public officials whisper or pass documents among themselves during meetings or when a vote would improperly be taken during executive session. In such situations, a violation occurs because members of the public are prevented from knowing…

Posted by OSBA Legal Ledger on 2/17/2010

In the case of Lowery v. Jefferson County Bd. of Educ., a high school football coach from Jefferson County High School in Tennessee dismissed three students from the football team for challenging his leadership. After the students parents were unsuccessful with their complaints to school officials, they addressed their concerns to the Jefferson County Board of Education.

The Jefferson County Board of Education had a policy in place that allowed an individual to apply to…