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 Sara C. Clark on 1/11/2019

Records retention is the process school districts use to manage the records that are created and flow through a school district.

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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 Jennifer A. Hardin on 10/25/2017

Two state agencies have recently prepared new resources for school districts: The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) updated its truancy and attendance guidance, and the Ohio History Connection (OHC) added resources for properly managing local government records.

Truancy and discipline resources

House Bill (HB) 410, passed last year by the Ohio General Assembly, altered state attendance and truancy laws. Since the bill…

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 Jennifer Hardin on 7/24/2016

On Thursday, the Ohio Supreme Court issued a ruling in State ex rel. School Choice Ohio, Inc. v. Cincinnati Pub. School Dist. [Cincinnati Public School District was dismissed as a respondent in this case when it entered into a settlement agreement with SCO.]

In October 2013, School Choice Ohio (SCO) submitted a public records request to Springfield City School District, requesting:

  1. Student’s and parent’s/guardian’s name,
  2. Parent’s/guardian's complete address and email address,…
Posted by Sara Clark on 7/15/2016

The maintenance, destruction and preservation of public records is an important and technical process. Under Ohio law, public records must be kept and maintained so that the public may access those records. Records must be retained for certain periods of time, sometimes permanently, depending upon the type of record.

While most records today are born digital, many public sector agencies are still pressed with issues of storing, retrieving and managing the paper-based records in their possession. At OSBA, we are hearing from more school…

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Posted by Sara Clark on 6/3/2016

State lawmakers have finalized an expedited process to hear complaints from citizens alleging they were wrongfully denied access to public records. The bill, Senate Bill (SB) 321, received unanimous votes in the Ohio House and Senate and is awaiting signature by the Governor.

Under current law, an individual may seek to compel the production of a public record by mandamus action, which is a lawsuit to compel a public official…

Posted by Megan Greulich on 1/26/2016

This morning, the Ohio Supreme Court heard arguments in School Choice Ohio Inc. v. Cincinnati Public School District and Springfield City School District. School Choice Ohio (SCO) filed the lawsuit after the Springfield City School District denied SCO’s request for student names and addresses. In 2013, Springfield adopted a policy that stopped student names, addresses, phone numbers and other identifying data from being designated as “directory information” under the Family Education Rights and Privacy…

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,…