Q&A: Information for executive session


From The News-Banner (Bluffton):

Q: Is this adequate infor­mation for an executive session notice? “The South­ern Wells Community Schools Board of Trustees will meet in Executive Session at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 23 to discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining as permitted by IC 5-14-1.5-6.1.”

A: I think it’s a good faith effort. They left out the location, which is required along with date and time under IC 5-14-1.5-5(a).

I would also argue that board members need to be more specific on the code citation for the executive session.

In this case, it should be IC 5-14-1.5-6.1(b)(2)(A). That takes the citizen to the exact language being cited by the school board to authorize its closed-door session.

The statute requires that the notice state the subject matter with “specific reference to the enumerated instance or instances for which executive sessions may be held.” (See IC 5-14-1.5-6.1(d).)

With the more general citation, citizens would have to search the statute to determine whether the reason given is a valid exception under the law.

Contact Steve Key, HSPA executive director and general counsel, with media law questions at skey@hspa.com or (317) 624-4427.