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School district now realizes when it’s breaking the law

I’ll give ’em this.

The Washoe County School District is getting better at recognizing when it is breaking the state’s open-meeting law.

As reported in the Reno Gazette-Journal this morning by Trevon Milliard, one of the district’s subcommittees acted on a controversial health-care plan even though the meeting agenda was vague.

The school board has been in hot water all year for being incapable of reading NRS 241, which, as I’ve said before, becomes complicated only if you’re trying to avoRGJ school districtid the public knowing what you’re doing.

Anyway, the subcommittee is not made up of professional politicians — apparently one of the excuses for not being familiar with the law — and when a lawyer pointed out the deficient agenda, the district quickly said it would schedule a do-over (aka ‘corrective action.’)

This incremental improvement seems to be the result of hiring an extra attorney for the school district whose sole job is to understand Chapter 241. That’s progress, I guess.

I supported the change to the open-meeting law that allows for corrective actions. It was the practical result, anyway, of an investigation that found a board had violated the law and must void its decision. Previously, it would be ordered by the attorney general to conduct a new meeting. Now, it can do that on its own.

However, that’s not to excuse repeat offenders. There’s still a very important general provision in the statute about trying to skirt the intent of the law. If it had been the school board itself, a three-peat offender, then it would warrant sanctions.

And finally, it does make you wonder if reading comprehension is a requirement of school officials these days.

About Barry Smith

Barry Smith is executive director of the Nevada Press Association. Before joining NPA, he was editor of the Nevada Appeal in Carson City and has been an editor, columnist and reporter.

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