Friday, June 3, 2011

Dallas ISD board actions must be taken in an open meeting

The Texas Open Meetings Act is found in the Texas Government Code, Chapter 551.

The Open Meetings Act indicates in plain language that Trustees cannot make decisions in secret meetings.
  • Sec. 551.102. REQUIREMENT TO VOTE OR TAKE FINAL ACTION IN OPEN MEETING.  A final action, decision or vote on a matter deliberated in a closed meeting under this chapter may only be made in an open meeting that is held in compliance with the notice provisions of this chapter.
Dallas ISD Board policy BEC (Local) - Texas Open Meetings Act - points out the responsibility of a Trustee to leave a meeting if the Trustee believes there is a possible violation of the Open Meetings Act.
  • BEC (Local) - If, in the opinion of a Trustee, a closed meeting strays beyond its specific call or includes topics that should not be discussed in closed meeting under the law, the Trustee should call the chair's attention to a "point of order."
  • Any Trustee should leave the meeting if he or she feels that continuing in the meeting will subject him or her to liability should the action be challenged in a court of law.
  • BEC (Legal) - A final action, decision, or vote on a matter deliberated in a closed meeting shall be made only in an open meeting for which proper notice has been given. Gov't Code 551.102 [See BE].
This is what the Texas Open Meetings Act and Dallas ISD board policies require of Trustees.

Attorney General Opinion - H-1163 - May 8, 1978.