The Pine Journal reports…
The Barnum School Board was recently found to be in violation of the Minnesota Open Meeting Law under a chapter of the state statute, which does not allow for public bodies to hold in-person meetings while limiting public attendance to electronic monitoring.
This finding, as cited in an April 19 opinion by Minnesota Department of Administration Commissioner Alice Roberts-Davis, has led to new guidance issued by the Minnesota School Board Association regarding meetings during a pandemic.
The new guidance states that school board meetings should either be held in person — without restrictions on public attendance — or held completely virtually.
If everyone had equal access to broadband this would be less of an issue…
Krampf explained that the public has not had equal access to all meetings during the pandemic, citing the lack of broadband internet available in Carlton County.
Last week, the Minnesota Department of Administration issued an advisory opinion to the district, citing violations of the open meeting law by the board on Sept. 22, 2020, Nov. 24, 2020, Jan. 5, 2021, and Jan. 26, 2021.
“The School Board did not comply with the OML when a quorum of the public body held in-person meetings … while the public was limited to remote attendance,” the opinion read.
According to Superintendent Mike McNulty, the decision to livestream meetings was made out of concern for public safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. He explained that the board room is a small space and does not allow for large groups of people to remain socially distanced.