Over the summer, members of the Ohio House introduced HB 257 to make permanent the ability for school board members and other public officials to attend meetings of the public body and to hold administrative hearings by virtual means. The bill, which was referred to the Committee on Government Oversight in September, would revive COVID-era authority to meet and conduct official government business by virtual means, with the added bonus of conducting administrative hearings virtually as well. Compliance, notice, and accessibility to the stream are part of the proposed legislation, along with a requirement for express adoption of a board policy to permit remote action. Additionally, the legislation as proposed may require up to one-third of the board members to attend in person at an agreed-upon physical location and those attending remotely would be required to provide timely notice of that intention. The bill is still in its infancy but is one to watch in the future.
What this means for schools – If enacted, this bill will expand options for boards of education in their conduct of official business.