ACLU of Ohio Initiates Investigation into Secret Meetings of Cleveland School Board

Affiliate: ACLU of Ohio
February 12, 2004 12:00 am

ACLU Affiliate
ACLU of Ohio
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CLEVELAND–The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio today sent public records requests to Cleveland School Board officials to investigate recent claims that school Board members have been conducting official business in private, in a potential violation of Ohio’s Sunshine Laws.

According to recent news accounts, School Board CEO Byrd-Bennett has been splitting board members and school administrators into “”work groups”” to research and make recommendations to the full board on a variety of subjects, from employee contract negotiations to the handling of multi-million dollar district deficits. Many times, these recommendations are made with no opportunity for public input. Sometimes, the recommendations are revealed just before the full board is scheduled to vote on the matter.

“It appears that the purpose of these so-called ‘work groups’ is to circumvent Ohio’s Sunshine Laws and secretly conduct official business away from public view. The district is engaged in an open meetings ‘shell game’ purposely designed to minimize public input,” said ACLU of Ohio volunteer attorney Michael Honohan.

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