Posted by Sara C. Clark on 2/16/2024

Recently, we’ve received several calls on the OSBA legal hotline about the ability of a board member to serve in different capacities within the community. Being an effective board member requires a combination of skills and traits, and a commitment to the welfare of the educational community. It is these same skills, traits and commitments that make school board members so appealing for service in other…

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Posted by Jennifer A. Hardin on 2/5/2024

For 2024, the OSBA legal division has decided to bring back a popular blog feature: question of the month. We will be focusing on questions that apply to many school board members and come up frequently in phone calls and presentations.  

2024's first question of the month is: Can a school board member sell anything to the district? There are a couple of laws that apply to this question.  

Posted by Jennifer A. Hardin on 12/19/2023

In this Legal Ledger Sidebar, OSBA attorneys Jennifer and John discuss the Ohio Ethics Law restrictions on gifts, entertainment and other things of value. The conversation covers the key aspects of the laws as they apply to school board members and school employees. 

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Posted by John R. Price on 10/21/2022

This past Wednesday, Oct. 19, was Global Ethics Day, meaning this is an ideal time to think about rules governing the compatibility of public offices. These situations arise when public officials like school board members wish to serve in other public roles while on the school board. By nature, school board members are often civic-minded and community-oriented individuals involved in different community or service ventures. However, despite the best of intentions, serving in multiple public roles can create thorny…

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Posted by Jennifer A. Hardin on 6/10/2022

Earlier this week, Auditor of State Keith Faber’s office announced that an Ohio grand jury had indicted a former school superintendent for numerous violations of law. Among the violations were 13 counts of having an unlawful interest in a public contract for securing contracts for a family member. The indictment alleges that, while he was superintendent, the charged individual used his public position…

Posted by Van D. Keating on 11/18/2021

As new school board members prepare to start their term, inevitably the question arises as to when/if it is permissible for former board members to be employed by the district they served. Unlike more familiar situations which involve retired public employees seeking to be re-employed, board members are elected public officials. Public employee retirement systems, such as STRS and SERS, have rules that often make retired employees serve a “…

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Posted by Sara C. Clark on 4/23/2021

The Ohio Ethics law requires certain elected officials, candidates for elected offices, public…

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Posted by Ralph Lusher III on 3/19/2021

Many board members question if they have a conflict of interest whether due to relationships, attempting to sell goods or services to the public agency they serve, or seeking employment with the agency they serve. Also, candidates for boards of education question whether they will have a conflict of interest if elected because of their current job or another public position they hold. 

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Posted by Jennifer A. Hardin on 10/23/2020

It has been said many times: 2020 has been an extraordinary year. Given the multitude of unique challenges that schools have met since the beginning of the year, it is sometimes difficult to focus on those laws that were in place before March 2020 and still affect school board members and staff. For example, the Ethics Law and related statutes continue to apply to district officials and employees notwithstanding building closures, hybrid learning models, virtual parent-teacher meetings and all of the other unique…

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