Open Meeting Law


Open Meeting Law

Following the requirements of the Open Meeting Law is very important for school board members. School districts depend upon the members of their governing board and other committees to maintain compliance with the law. The public’s trust in its school districts and the officials who govern them is at stake. Board members should take the time to read the law and retain a copy for future reference.

The Open Meeting Law can be difficult to understand and onerous at times to comply with, however, reminding yourself why it is there might make it easier for you. The public body governing board is there to do the public’s business in public. The public has a right to witness the discussion, deliberation and decision-making done in its name.
Public confidence in our governing process is critical and complying with public accountability measures like the OML gives the public body the credibility they need to govern. Most importantly, it is that credibility that gives you the license to do the work you signed up for when you ran for the school board – to help give kids the best learning environment in which to fulfill their potential.

Arizona’s Open Meeting Law comprises only eight sections of Arizona statute. However, contained in that those sections are requirements that sometimes seem as complex as anything found in an Internal Revenue Service manual.

In the 2000 legislative session, the Open Meeting Law was substantially revised through consensus legislation sponsored by all state and local public bodies, the media associations and Arizona’s Attorney General’s Office – three contingents that, in the past, had often been at-odds on interpretations of the Open Meeting Law. The reason the legislation was endorsed by all parties was singular in its purpose: to give greater clarity to all concerned about the requirements of the law.

Now that time has passed years new questions have arisen – it appears to be the nature of this beast. Here we provide answers to frequently asked questions. However, when a solution is found for one query, three more will pop up. It is, therefore, best to consult your district’s attorney for specific issues or questions around OML.

Additional Information