Posted by Shadya Yazback on 12/30/2015

In our final blog post for 2015, we’re taking a look at the last of the most common conflict-of-interest questions OSBA receives on its hotline: board members who hold more than one public office.  Previous weeks have covered scenarios where:

Posted by Shadya Yazback on 12/23/2015

This month, we’ve been looking at the most common questions OSBA attorneys receive regarding board member conflicts-of-interest.  Those include:

Posted by Shadya Yazback on 12/11/2015

Through the month of December, we’re looking at the most common scenarios in which an incoming board member may have a conflict of interest.  Last week, we discussed individuals currently working and volunteering for the district (you can read that blog entry here).  This week, we’ll take a look at board members that have family members working for the school district.  In the coming weeks, we’ll look at board members that are employed by or own a company that has an active contract with the…

Posted by Shadya Yazback on 12/4/2015

Hundreds of new individuals will begin serving on school boards in Ohio next month.  The legal hotline has received several questions about conflicts of interest for incoming members.  (Remember: OSBA attorneys cannot provide a legal analysis of the specifics for a board member, but we can provide legal information to help you determine whether you should speak with board counsel about a potential conflict.)

While it can arise in many contexts, we most commonly receive the question as one of four basic scenarios:

  • the individual currently works for the district,
Posted by Shadya Yazback on 7/27/2015

OSBA’s legal division recently received a question from a member who asked whether a board could adopt a policy requiring proof of vaccinations for service animals accompanying students in the district’s buildings.  The board’s purpose in asking for such proof was to confirm that the animal was not a health risk to students in the building.

A federal court case earlier this year examined the issue in-depth.  In Alboniga v. School Board of Broward County, Florida,…

Posted by Rob Johnson on 4/3/2012

With the end of the school year just around the corner and the conclusion of the fiscal year soon after, many school districts are searching for ways to tighten their belts. Rehiring retirees, while often controversial locally, is one option that a district might consider. School boards can renegotiate contracts in order to gain more control over costs, all while retaining experienced personnel. If a board of education decides to pursue a strategy of rehiring retirees, it must follow certain guidelines in order to comply with Ohio law.

Ohio Revised Code sections 3307.353 and 3309.…

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 5/3/2011

Yes. On April 22, 2010, the Ohio Ethics Commission (OEC) issued Advisory Opinion No. 2010-01 regarding the application of the Ethics Law to community school officials. All governing boards of community schools are required to sign contracts agreeing to be bound by RC Chapter 102 and Section 2921.42. Because governing boards of community schools are agents of public agencies, the governing board members are also subject…

Posted by OSBA Legal Ledger on 5/12/2010

Yes. The general rule is that boards must first offer the opportunity to direct, supervise, or coach a pupil activity program to qualified, licensed individuals in the district (RC 3313.53). Boards of education are permitted to employ non-licensed individuals who have pupil activity permits to direct, supervise, or coach a pupil activity program, but only if the board passes a resolution that outlines two things. First, the resolution must outline that the board has offered the position to a licensed individual in the district and that no one qualified has applied for or accepted the…

Posted by OSBA Legal Ledger on 4/28/2010

A number of districts have received public records requests asking for specific information relating to the curriculum that is being provided in the district. Please keep the following points in mind when complying with these requests:

  • Trade secrets are exempt from the Public Records Act. Trade secrets are defined in R.C. 1333.61(D) and includes information that gets its value from the fact that it is not generally known or readily ascertainable by other people who can obtain…