Three . . . two . . . one . . . Happy New Year!  


With each January comes the school board organizational meeting.  OSBA’s legal hotline gets lot of calls this time of year as school boardprepare for their organizational meetings.  Based on our most frequently asked questions, here are some quick reminders for school board members and administrators.




Ohio law (RC 3313.14) requires city, local, exempted village and joint vocational school boards to have their organizational meetings within the first 15 days of January.  No later than December 31, each board’s treasurer is required to canvas the board members to establish the meeting date.  


The governing boards of educational service centers can hold their organizational meetings at any time in the month of January.  


2.Presiding officer  


At its last meeting each year, the board should appoint a president pro tem who will preside at the organizational meeting. 




At the first meeting, after the board has performed any opening ceremonies, such as the pledge of allegiance, the treasurer calls the roll.  Then the board’s first order of business is to elect officers.  The board is required to elect a president and a vice-president, each of whom serves for one year.  As soon as the election is held, the newly elected president presidesover the remainder of the meeting.  


Board members can nominate themselves for offices and can vote for themselves.  


RC 3313.18 requires that three board members vote for a candidate in order to elect him or her to an office.  If the board cannot agree, and no candidate receives three votes, the board must engage in consensus building in order to reach a decision.  


4.Meeting schedule 


The law also requires that the board use its organizational meeting to set its regular meeting schedules for the year.  The board must meet at least once every two months.  


5.Other “organizational” matters 


Many boards use the organizational meeting to handle other matters, such as: 

• Appointments to the joint vocational school district board of education.
• Adoption of the district’s tax budget.
• Purchase of liability insurance for board members and the board as an entity.
• Renewal of OSBA membership.
• Board members’ participation in the School Employees Retirement System.
• Appointments to board committees.
• Establishing a board service fund (RC 3315.15).  


6.Anything else? 


One question OSBA’s lawyers get a lot is whether the board can consider any other matters at its organizational meeting.  There is no legal provision limiting a board's consideration of other matters at this meeting.  


Please contact OSBA’s legal hotline at 855-OSBA-LAW with any questions about the organizational meetings.

Posted by Jennifer Hardin on 1/2/2017