OPMA and General Assembly

As related to individual school boards

Even when a local school board quorum is present, if that quorum limits its discussions to WSSDA business as opposed to its local school district business, there are no OPMA concerns because the local school board quorum does not constitute a quorum of the WSSDA membership or the WSSDA Board of Directors.

However, whenever a majority of a local school board is present (physically or virtually), they should be mindful of the fine line between discussing WSSDA business and local school district business. If they are not careful, it would be easy for school board directors from the same school district to loop their discussions back to how an issue would impact their own school district.

If a quorum of your local school board will gather together virtually or in person to attend, watch, or listen to the WSSDA General Assembly, we recommend determining which of these two options you will follow:

  • Your board will vigilantly limit discussion to WSSDA business, not your local school board business.
  • Your board will post public notice of a special meeting, including providing an opportunity for the general public to attend your gathering (virtually or in-person). A special meeting for this purpose does not require a public comment period. Special meetings require a minimum of 24 hours’ notice for board directors and the public. The notification must include the time, place, and the business/agenda to be transacted at the special meeting.

As related to WSSDA

At the WSSDA General Assembly, the debate and voting are on WSSDA business, not your own school board’s business. This is an important distinction. General Assembly is subject to the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) and WSSDA will provide public notice of the assembly and an opportunity for the public to view the proceedings. No public comment period is required and none will be offered. However, the public may provide written comments to WSSDA at any time. Members of the public will not be allowed to engage in the debate or vote at the WSSDA General Assembly.