Posted by Sara C. Clark on 1/20/2023

Many school districts use their annual organizational meeting as a time to make board committee appointments. As school boards create new committees or invite new members to serve on these committees, it’s a good time to review the applicability of the Open Meetings Act to committees.

Posted by Jennifer A. Hardin on 1/6/2023

Late in December, the Supreme Court of Ohio issued an opinion providing important clarity to public bodies, including school boards, facing claims that they have violated Ohio’s Open Meeting Act (OMA). The case, Ames v. Rootstown Twp. Bd. of Trustees, was filed…

Posted by Jennifer A. Hardin on 12/2/2022

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Ohio issued an opinion in Hicks v. Clermont County Board of Commissioners, in which a public body was sued for violations of the Open Meetings Act (OMA). The Supreme Court determined that, when alleging a violation of the OMA, the plaintiff bears the burden of proving the violation. This ruling establishes that, in the…

Posted by Sara C. Clark on 7/8/2022

In February, the Ohio General Assembly passed House Bill (HB) 51, which allowed public bodies, including boards of education, to meet remotely, but only until June 30, 2022.

The expiration of HB…

Posted by John R. Price on 5/6/2022

On April 1, 2022, the Ohio Court of Appeals for the First District, which covers Hamilton County, issued a ruling in the case of State ex rel. Mohr v. Colerain Twp., invalidating a land use plan created by a township subcommittee that operated in violation of the Open Meetings Act (OMA). The decision serves as a reminder…

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Posted by Sara C. Clark on 4/29/2020

Last week, the Ohio Ethics Commission (OEC) issued an advisory opinion addressing the question of whether RC 102.03(B)…

Posted by Sara C. Clark on 3/17/2020

Across the country, individuals have been required or encouraged to limit face-to-face meetings and practice “social distancing” to slow the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). In light of these guidelines, OSBA has received numerous questions regarding the applicability of Ohio’s Open Meetings Act (OMA) during the pandemic. Because these state directives are changing on a day-to-day basis, boards should consult with legal counsel before making decisions about their meetings.

Can we cancel our school board meeting?
Boards of education are…

Posted by Sara C. Clark on 3/12/2019

This week is Sunshine Week, which is a national initiative to educate the public about the importance of open government. To help you in your roles as public officials, OSBA offers the following resources on the Ohio Public Records and Open Meetings Acts:

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…