Four Tips For A School District To Comply With South Dakota's Open Meetings Law

With the school year just beginning, here are four tips to keep in mind to ensure that your school board complies with South Dakota's Open Meetings Law.

Tip #1 - What is the purpose of South Dakota’s Open Meetings Law?

South Dakota’s open meetings law embodies the principle that the public is entitled to the greatest possible information about public affairs and is intended to encourage public participation in government.

Tip #2 - What is an “official meeting”?

An “official meeting” is any meeting of a quorum of a public body at which official business of that public body is discussed or decided, or public policy is formulated, whether in person or by teleconference. 

Tip #3 - What is not considered an “official meeting”?

It is not an official meeting of a political subdivision or public body if its members provide information or attend the official meeting of another political subdivision or public body for which the notice requirements have been met. 

Tip #4 - How does a school board give public notice of its official meetings?

A school board must provide public notice with a proposed agenda that is visible, readable, and accessible for at least an entire, continuous twenty-four hours immediately before any official meeting. 

A copy of the notice must be posted, visible to the public, at the school district’s principal office.  The proposed agenda must include the date, time, and location of the meeting.

For more about our state's Open Meetings Law, read Chapter 5 of The South Dakota School Law Deskbook.