Oklahoma school board meeting guidebook

The school board meeting is the most important event in the administration of public schools.

The school board meeting is where school board members discuss and take action on a variety of matters involving the district. These matters include developing and revising policies, approving fundraisers, hiring new employees, approving school purchases, authorizing payroll, approving bids, modifying contracts and much more.

A number of laws regulate how your meetings can be conducted. This publication aims to explain school board meetings in a simple manner, with as little legalese as possible. The information in this publication comes from years of combined experience of the legal department of the Oklahoma State School Boards Association (OSSBA), both present and past.

The information in this guide is not meant to replace information provided by your district’s retained counsel. OSSBA regularly encourages school boards to consult their retained counsel to ensure compliance with the law.

Included in this publication:

Legal Authority

  • Oklahoma Statutes
  • State Department of Education Accreditation Standards
  • Case Law
  • Oklahoma Attorney General Opinions

The Board of Education

  • Organization and Reorganization of the Board of Education
  • Board Committees
  • Oath of Office

Meetings and the Open Meeting Act

  • When and where can school boards hold meetings?
  • When are school board members subject to the Open Meeting Act?
  • Consequences of Violating the Open Meeting Act
  • Scheduling Meetings
  • Changing the Date, Time, and Place of a Regular Meeting
  • Canceling Meetings
  • Reconvening or Continuing a Meeting
  • Can a school board member attend a school board meeting via phone or internet?
  • Using an Electronic Device During a Meeting
  • Can a school board member be paid to attend a meeting?

Executive Sessions

  • Permissible Purposes for Executive Session
  • Employment Matters
  • Examples of Specific Agenda Language for Various Executive Session Purposes

Agendas

  • When to Post the Agenda
  • Where to Post Paper Copies of the Agenda
  • Website Posting of the Agenda
  • Inadequate and Adequate Language
  • Items That Should Not Appear on an Agenda
  • New Business
  • Skipping or Tabling an Agenda Item
  • Consent Agenda

Voting

  • Motions
  • Seconds
  • Votes
  • Abstentions
  • Rescinding an Action

Minutes

  • Type of Meeting
  • Time, Date and Location
  • Members Present
  • Motions
  • Votes
  • Reports
  • Adoption Information
  • Signatures
  • Executive Session Minutes
  • Public Participation

Sample Agendas

  • Regular Meeting
  • Special Meeting
  • Emergency Meeting

The Guidebook is $25 per copy. Order online or purchase the Guidebook at select OSSBA events.