Obion County Board of Education
October 1, 2012

Agenda Item: VII.A.

Consider/Approve Amendment to Board Policy #1.400 – School Board Meetings

Background Information:

Public Chapter 823, effective July 1, 2012, allows some Board members to participate in Board meetings via electronic means. Generally, there are only three (3) circumstances that permit such participation: military service, family emergency, as defined by the Board, and an absence from the county due to work.  To this end, TSBA has proposed changes to Board Policy #1.400 – School Board Meetings. The section of the proposed policy titled Electronic Attendance is the addition. By law, Board members can only participate twice via electronic means for family emergency and/or absence from the county due to work. TSBA has amended the proposed policy slightly since the first reading. The policy stated, incorrectly, that a member may participate electronically up to two times per year for absences for work AND up to two times per year in the event of family emergencies (potentially four times per year).  However, the law only allows a member to participate up to two times per year for absences for work AND/OR family emergencies (only two times per year).  This policy corrects that inconsistency.  The law and policy still allow members who are absent for military service to electronically participate as often as he/she is able to do so. The Board may define family emergency; however, the definition in TSBA’s proposed policy follows the sick leave policy. For reference purposes, our current policy is attached.

In addition, lines 7 and 8 of TSBA’s proposed policy need to be inserted into our policy. This addition would prevent anyone from bringing a camera, camcorder, or other photographic equipment to a Board meeting without the consent of the Board.

We also need to better define regular meetings of the Board. I propose the language to read, beginning on line 9 of our current policy, “Regular meetings of the Board shall be held on the first Monday of each month or as set forth in the Board’s Annual Agenda.”

Staff Recommendation:

I recommend approval of the above-noted amendments to Board Policy #1.400 – School Board Meetings, on second and final reading.