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Ask OSBA - Parliamentary Procedure Questions

OSBA staff answers some common (and not so common) questions about board governance, board members' roles and responsibilities, good practices, running board meetings and board conflict. Don't see the answer to your question? Ask OSBA!

Dear members:

Your OSBA Team is dedicated to assisting you by responding to all of your questions. Additionally, we are committed to providing you with the best possible information, tools, and practices in a timely manner. There are times when we must research, or consult with other OSBA staff members to provide an answer to your questions. In these circumstances, we ask for your patience as the normal response time could potentially be delayed. Please expect an initial response, by phone or email, within 24-48 hours of submitting your question, and be aware that additional follow-up could take more time. If your question is time sensitive, please be sure to specify your deadlines in your initial request.

Thank you, we look forward to hearing from you!

Legal Disclaimer: The information contained on this site should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding your particular situation, please seek the advice of OSBA’s legal services or independent counsel.


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What is a ‘360 degree evaluation’ of a chief executive (superintendent or college president) and how is it used? - 5/02/11

Can a budget committee member be appointed at a budget committee meeting or does this appointment have to be made at a board meeting? - 3/18/16

How many consecutive board meetings can a board member miss and remain on the board? - 12/04/15

One of our board members speaks to the public and press against the positions taken by the board at our meetings. This board member has also leaked information from executive session meetings. Is there anything the rest of the board can do about this situation? - 10/10/14

A budget committee member withdrew before the end of her term (June 2016). The board has voted in a new budget committee member to take her place. Does this new member serve three years from now or does the board have to vote this member in again once the original term is finished – June 2016? - 4/15/16

Can board members vote by email? - 5/27/16

Can the chair refuse to take a motion? What recourse do other board members have? - 1/29/16

Are charter school boards subject to public meetings and public records requirements? - 6/03/16

How can we be clear about motions and amendments so that all the board and those in the audience understand what the board is voting on? - 10/04/13

When and how can board members use email to communicate with each other? Can they discuss and gain consensus on an item by email? - 8/30/11

What is the difference between a resolution and any other motion? - 5/09/14

Our July organizational meeting is coming up. How do we elect a chair and vice chair? - 7/25/14

If we've voted, but later want to change that motion, how do we do it? - 3/04/09

If we've voted, but later want to change that motion, how do we do it? - 5/20/16

Sometimes during a meeting our board talks on and on without anyone making a motion. Is it appropriate for the chair to ask the board if there is a motion? - 10/07/11

Our board is interested in opening our board meeting with an invocation or prayer, like the legislature does. Is this OK? - 3/01/10

Our board voted down a motion because we felt the timing of the discussion was poor. The public is upset because they think we don't support the topic. Is there a better way to handle this situation? - 8/23/10

If all of the board members are not present at a board meeting (but we have a quorum, three of five), is it true that if anyone votes "no" on an item, the motion fails? - 11/22/13

Help! I think I am about to be recalled. What happens and what should I do? - 2/14/11

If we table an item until a future date as an action item, and we are not ready to bring it forward, does it die and we have to bring it forward again, or can a board member raise it as a question and then we table it again? - 1/08/16

Can the administration make transfers between budget functions during the year without seeking board approval? - 5/10/10

Can a part-time athletic coach serve on the school board? - 12/11/15