Open Meetings Law Guidance Update for March 31, 2022

On March 16, 2022, Governor Hochul continued Executive Order 11 until April 15, 2022, which declared a state disaster emergency based on COVID-19. In turn, Chapter 1 of the N.Y. Laws of 2022 will continue to amend the Open Meetings Law (subdivision 103(c) of the Public Officers Law) to provide flexibility to covered entities including charter school education corporation boards of trustees.

Specifically:

  • Telephone and video conference participation in board meetings by charter school trustees is permitted without in-person public access at every remote site;
  • Meetings must still be noticed in accordance with the Open Meetings Law but the notice does not have to include the location of every trustee who may participate via videoconference or conference telephone;
  • Meeting notices must include how the public will be able to access the meeting via telephone or videoconference (e.g., web link); and,
  • Meetings must be recorded, and later transcribed, with the transcription to be available through the N.Y. Freedom of Information Law.

As a best practice, the SUNY Charter Schools Institute recommends using a school site as a videoconference location for those parents and members of the public who do not have computer or internet access.

The Institute will provide updates if the Emergency Declaration is further extended.