Board members serving in other roles

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.

Question of the Month: Can a school board member sell anything to the district?

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.  

Legal Ledger Sidebar: Gifts and other things of value

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. 

Compatibility of public offices

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.

Employing former school board members

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.

Resources for conflict questions

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.

Ethics reminders

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.