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22-32-108. Meetings of the board of education - legislative intent.

Statute text

(1) Regular meetings of the board of education of a school district shall be held at the time and place provided for in its bylaws. Special meetings may be called by the president at any time, and shall be called by him upon written request of a majority of the members of the board.

(2) (a) The secretary of the board shall cause written notice of any special meeting to be mailed or delivered to each member of the board stating the time, place, and purpose of the meeting; if the notice is delivered, it shall be in the hands of the member no later than twenty-four hours prior to the hour set for the meeting, and if it is mailed, it shall be mailed no later than seventy-two hours prior to the hour set for the meeting.

(b) Notwithstanding any provision of paragraph (a) of this subsection (2) to the contrary, if the department of education determines that a school district is rural, based on the geographic size of the school district and the distance of the school district from the nearest large, urbanized area, and the school district enrolls six thousand five hundred or fewer students in kindergarten through twelfth grade, the secretary of the board for the school district may comply with the provisions of paragraph (a) of this subsection (2) by delivering the written notice of a special meeting to each board member by electronic mail at least twenty-four hours before the hour set for the meeting.

(3) Any member may waive notice of the time, place, and purpose of a special meeting at any time before, during, or after such meeting, and attendance thereat shall be deemed to be a waiver.

(4) At any special meeting, no business other than that stated in the notice of said meeting shall be transacted, unless all members are present and shall consent to consider and transact other business.

(5) (a) All regular and special meetings of the board shall be open to the public, but the board may require any person who disturbs good order to leave. At any regular or special meeting the board may proceed in executive session in accordance with the requirements of this paragraph (a) and paragraph (d) of this subsection (5). Only those persons invited by the board may be present during executive session, and the board shall not make final policy decisions while in executive session. At the special meeting of the board called pursuant to section 22-32-104 (1), each board member shall sign an affidavit stating that the board member is aware of and will comply with the confidentiality requirements and restrictions applicable to executive sessions of the board, as described in section 24-6-402, C.R.S., regardless of whether the board member participates in the executive session in person or electronically in accordance with the board policy adopted pursuant to subsection (7) of this section. The school district shall keep and preserve the affidavits with the minutes of board meetings and other board documents.

(b) The board shall make a recording of each regular and special meeting of the board at which votes are taken and recorded and shall make the recording available to the public. The board, at its discretion, shall use appropriate technology that is available within the school district at the time the recording is made and shall, at a minimum, make an audio recording. An individual or entity may request a copy of a recording and shall pay the costs the board incurs in providing the copy, pursuant to section 24-72-205, C.R.S.

(c) The board shall institute a policy requiring, at a minimum, retaining recordings of board meetings made pursuant to this subsection (5) for a minimum of ninety days.

(d) In the case of a meeting of a board of education during which an executive session is held, the minutes of the meeting must indicate the topic of the discussion at the executive session as well as the amount of time each topic was discussed while the board was meeting in executive session. The minutes along with the amount of time each topic was discussed must be posted on the website of the board not later than ten business days following the meeting at which the minutes are approved by the board. If the board does not maintain a website, the minutes must be published in the same manner as the board regularly provides public notice. The board shall comply with all other requirements pertaining to the holding of a meeting in executive session including, without limitation, those specified in section 24-6-402 (2)(d.5)(II)(A), C.R.S.

(e) Notwithstanding section 24-6-402 (2)(d.5)(II)(E), C.R.S., the record of an executive session of a board of education that is electronically recorded pursuant to section 24-6-402 (2)(d.5)(II)(A), C.R.S., including, without limitation, the actual electronic recording of the executive session, must be retained for at least ninety days after the date of the executive session.

(6) All voting at any meeting shall be by roll call. The names of the members shall be called alphabetically, and each member present shall orally vote "Aye" or "No" upon each question unless excused from voting by the board for good cause. Election of the president and vice-president may be by secret ballot.

(7) (a) The board may adopt a policy authorizing board members to attend and participate in regular or special meetings electronically. At a minimum, the policy must ensure that a meeting at which one or more board members participate electronically is open to the public and that the members who participate electronically are included in the recording made in accordance with paragraph (b) of subsection (5) of this section. A member who participates electronically in conformance with the policy is considered present for purposes of subsections (4) and (6) of this section.

(b) It is the intent of the general assembly that a board that adopts a policy authorized in paragraph (a) of this subsection (7) to allow board members to attend and participate electronically in regular or special board meetings will ensure that the policy:

(I) Requires a quorum of the board to be physically present in one location to convene a meeting;

(II) Allows members of the board to attend the meeting electronically only when there are extenuating circumstances, as described in the board's policy;

(III) Leaves discretion to the board to decide the maximum number of board meetings that a member may attend electronically before the member's position is declared to be vacant;

(IV) Requires the board to have technology in place that will ensure that members of the public can hear the comments made by a board member who attends the meeting electronically and that the board member can hear comments made by the public; and

(V) Clearly describes the methods by which a board member may attend a meeting electronically, which methods may include attendance via telephone, video conferencing, or other electronic means.

History

Source: L. 64: p. 576, 8. C.R.S. 1963: 123-30-8. L. 2009: (5) amended, (HB 09-1082), ch. 67, p. 234, 1, effective August 5. L. 2013: (5)(a) amended and (7) added, (SB 13-015), ch. 52, p. 175, 1, effective August 7. L. 2014: (5)(a) amended and (5)(d) and (5)(e) added, (SB 14-182), ch. 393, p. 1985, 1, effective June 6. L. 2015: (2) amended, (HB 15-1321), ch. 217, p. 798, 5, effective May 22.

Annotations

 

ANNOTATION

Annotations

This section and former 29-9-101 to be read together. Both sections apply to meetings of boards of education and should be read together. Bagby v. Sch. Dist. No. 1, 186 Colo. 428, 528 P.2d 1299 (1974).

This section does not supersede former 29-9-101 even though it is more specific. Bagby v. Sch. Dist. No. 1, 186 Colo. 428, 528 P.2d 1299 (1974).

This section and former 29-9-101 are remedial, designed precisely to prevent the abuse of "secret or 'star chamber' sessions of public bodies". Bagby v. Sch. Dist. No. 1, 186 Colo. 428, 528 P.2d 1299 (1974).

The sections should be interpreted most favorably for the beneficiary, the public. Bagby v. Sch. Dist. No. 1, 186 Colo. 428, 528 P.2d 1299 (1974).

Board may act only publicly and by roll call. This section, which requires that all voting at any meeting shall be by roll call, means that a school board may act only at public meetings and only then by way of roll call vote. Robb v. Sch. Dist. No. RE 50(J), 28 Colo. App. 453, 475 P.2d 30 (1970).

Since no roll call vote was taken to "deem" plaintiff unsatisfactory as an administrator, the board's action in purportedly so doing was a nullity and of no consequence, and plaintiff's contract as a teacher-principal was operational and enforceable until the proper procedural action was taken by the board to deem him unsatisfactory and to transfer him to a teaching position only. Robb v. Sch. Dist. No. RE 50(J), 28 Colo. App. 453, 475 P.2d 30 (1970).

Signing of annexation petition by superintendent without formal board authorization was not an act of the board. In view of the requirement that the board of education act only at public meetings and on roll call vote, the act of the superintendent of schools in signing an annexation petition without formal authorization by the board of education was not an act of the board. Gavend v. City of Thornton, 165 Colo. 182, 437 P.2d 778 (1968) (decided under repealed 123-10-18, C.R.S. 1963).

This section contemplates that a school board may make some decisions in executive session. Wheeler v. Sch. Dist. No. 20, 33 Colo. App. 233, 521 P.2d 178 (1973), aff'd, 188 Colo. 262, 535 P.2d 206 (1975).

"Final policy decisions" must be made in public meetings. Wheeler v. Sch. Dist. No. 20, 33 Colo. App. 233, 521 P.2d 178 (1973), aff'd, 188 Colo. 262, 535 P.2d 206 (1975).

This section precludes the board from making decisions of a general nature or adopting a broad course of action in an executive session. Wheeler v. Sch. Dist. No. 20, 33 Colo. App. 233, 521 P.2d 178 (1973), aff'd, 188 Colo. 262, 535 P.2d 206 (1975).

Mere acceptance for review of charges against teacher is not "policy decision" referred to in statute. Dugan v. Bollman, 31 Colo. App. 261, 502 P.2d 1131 (1972).

"Rubber stamping" previously decided issues is not intended. The prohibition against making final policy decisions or taking formal action in other than a public meeting is not meant to permit "rubber stamping" previously decided issues. Bagby v. Sch. Dist. No. 1, 186 Colo. 428, 528 P.2d 1299 (1974).

Board of education may not take a perfunctory vote in public session on issue previously decided in closed meeting, but may base its decisions on recommendations by panel which met in closed session but at which no tentative agreement was reached nor informal poll conducted. Bruce v. Sch. Dist. No. 60, 687 P.2d 509 (Colo. App. 1984).

Decision which may be made in executive session. Decision to transfer tenured teacher from his position as principal to position as a classroom teacher was a type of specific, ad hoc action which a board of education may take in executive session. Wheeler v. Sch. Dist. No. 20, 33 Colo. App. 233, 521 P.2d 178 (1973), aff'd, 188 Colo. 262, 535 P.2d 206 (1975).

Teacher hiring and firing decisions are formal decisions, and, therefore, a firing decision by a school board that is made during an executive session is invalid. Barbour v. Hanover Sch. Dist. No. 28, 148 P.3d 268 (Colo. App. 2006), aff'd in part and rev'd in part on other grounds, 171 P.3d 223 (Colo. 2007).

Presence during the board's deliberative process of school superintendent and principal who had substantial interest in the board's decision regarding dismissal violated teacher's due process right to a fair and impartial determination by the board. DeKoevend v. Bd. of Educ., 688 P.2d 219 (Colo. 1984).

School board's attorney should not be present during the board's deliberations, in order to avoid any appearance of impropriety or unfairness. Weissman v. Bd. of Educ., 190 Colo. 414, 547 P.2d 1267 (1976).

Sessions proscribed by this section and former 29-9-101. Where a county school board's negotiations with a local education association were handled by a committee of nonboard member representatives as well as a board member, closed sessions were held during which the board's negotiating team met with the association team, and the board also met in executive sessions with its negotiating team to review the progress of negotiations and to determine policy as well as strategy, these latter sessions of the board fall within the proscription of former 29-9-101 and this section. Littleton Educ. Ass'n v. Arapahoe County Sch. Dist., 191 Colo. 411, 553 P.2d 793 (1976); Sch. Dist. No. 11 v. Colo. Springs Teachers Ass'n, 41 Colo. App. 267, 583 P.2d 952 (1978).

When failure to comply with statutory notice requirements not fatal. The failure to comply with statutory notice requirements in subsection (2) is not a fatal defect in the proceedings when the meeting is attended by all of the members composing the board. Wheeler v. Sch. Dist. No. 20, 33 Colo. App. 233, 521 P.2d 178 (1973), aff'd, 188 Colo. 262, 535 P.2d 206 (1975).