Issue Date: August 18, 2021
Updated: September 20, 2023
“Meeting” means the convening of the Board with a quorum present, whether in person or by means of electronic equipment, for the purpose of discussing, receiving public comments about, or acting upon a matter over which the Board has jurisdiction, including a workshop or executive session. However, a “meeting” does not include a chance or social gathering; or meetings where no funds are appropriated for expenditure and board members are convened solely to discuss administrative or operational matters which do not require formal action or would not come before the Board for discussion or action.
Rules of Order and Procedure
The Board of Education shall adopt Rules of Order and Procedure to govern a public meeting of the Board of Education. The Rules of Order and Procedure shall include a set of policies that govern and prescribe in a public meeting:
- Parliamentary order and procedure;
- Ethical behavior; and
- Civil discourse.
After adopting the Rules of Order and Procedure, the Board of Education shall:
- Conduct its public meeting in accordance with the Rules of Order and Procedure adopted by the Board of Education; and
- Make the Rules of Order and Procedure available to the public at each meeting of the Board of Education, and on the District’s public website.
Upon a two-thirds vote, the Board of Education may expel a member of the Board from an open public meeting of the Board for:
- Disorderly conduct at the meeting;
- The member’s direct or indirect financial conflict of interest regarding an issue discussed at or action proposed to be taken at the meeting; or
- Commission of a crime during the meeting.
The Board of Education may also adopt policies that expand the reasons for expelling a Board member from an open public meeting or which establish more restrictive procedures for such expulsion.
Open to the public
At open meetings other than work sessions or emergency meetings, the Board will receive verbal and written comments from the public on topics which are germane to the Board’s authority. Written comments can be submitted by sending them through email to the Superintendent before the meeting or by hand delivering them to District staff members at the meeting. Written comments will not be read at the meeting but will be provided to the members of the Board and will be included in the meeting minutes. Verbal comments at the meeting shall be received from members of the public who sign up prior to the time for public comment and will be taken in the order that individuals sign up. Each individual will be allowed up to 3 minutes to provide comments to the Board. The Board’s agenda will specify the amount of time for public comment, which will generally be between 30 minutes and 1 hour.
The Board does not by allowing public comment endorse any such comment. Therefore, persons providing comment bear any and all legal liability which may arise under governing law from making such comments. For example, defamatory comments about specific individuals may expose the commenter to legal liability from those individuals; similarly, threats of violence towards other individuals may expose the commenter to prosecution.
The public comment period is to allow members of the public to provide input to the Board in its capacity as a legislative body. The public comment period is not a forum for discussion or debate between the Board and members of the public. The Board does not engage in discussion during public comments, but may later follow up on comments made during public comment.
A public hearing is an open meeting at which members of the public are given a reasonable opportunity to comment on a subject of the meeting. The Board shall hold a public hearing when considering whether to close a school or change the boundaries of a school, when submitting a ballot issue regarding bond authorization or a tax increase, when considering the adoption of the District budget, before authorizing issuance of bonds, and when considering changes to the Board member compensation schedules, as required by statute.
Interference With Conduct of Board Meetings
Those in attendance at Board meetings are prohibited from interfering with the conduct of the meeting by demonstrations, whether audible or visual or by conduct. Those who do not abide by Board procedures for orderly presentation of comments when permitted may be asked to leave or the Board may use appropriate legal means to remove those disrupting the meeting.
Distribution of handbills, flyers, or other printed materials by members of the public is prohibited during Board meetings. Similarly, members of the public may not circulate petitions or similar requests for participation during a Board meeting.
All or any part of the proceedings in any open board meeting may be recorded by any person in attendance provided that the recording does not interfere with the conduct of the meeting.
Attendance by Local Government Representatives
An interested mayor or interested county executive (or their designees) may attend and participate in the board’s discussions in the open portions of the Board’s meetings. An “interested mayor” is the mayor of a municipality which is partly or entirely within the boundaries of the school district. An “interested county executive” is the county executive or county manager of a county with unincorporated area within the boundary of the school district. These local government officials may not vote on any issue before the Board and their participation is subject to the Board President’s authority to regulate the conduct of the meeting.
An interested mayor or interested county official may attend a closed meeting of the Board if invited by the Board. Where the closed meeting is held to discuss disposition or acquisition of real property, an interested mayor or interested county official may attend if invited by the Board and if the mayor or county executive does not have a conflict of interest with respect to the disposition or acquisition.
A majority of the members of the Board shall constitute a quorum for meetings of the Board.
USBA Training Session for Board Members
In the event the Board or any of its members meet with representatives of the Utah School Boards Association (USBA) for the purpose of receiving or participating in instruction regarding Board functions or activities, and not for the purpose of discussing or acting upon a subject over which the Board has jurisdiction, the Board is not required to comply with the Utah Open and Public Meetings Act, Utah Code § 52-4-101 et seq.
If more than two Board members are present in such meetings, the Board members shall not discuss or act upon any specific matter over which it has jurisdiction. Board members will discuss only matters relative to the instruction they receive from USBA representatives.
If Board members determine in an instructional meeting with representatives of USBA that there is a need to discuss or act upon a subject over which the Board has jurisdiction, then the Board and its members must comply with the Open and Public Meetings Act, Utah Code § 52-4-101 et seq., prior to discussing or acting upon such matters.