The Dec. 6 executive session of the Monroe County Community School Corp. board is to provide training for board members-elect Martha Street and Kelly Smith, according to member Sue Wanzer.
That’s a legitimate reason for a closed meeting under the Indiana Open Door Law, which allows executive sessions “to train school board members with an outside consultant about the performance of the role of the members as public officials.”
Wanzer said the board will meet with a trainer from the Indiana School Boards Association, who will help get Street and Smith up to speed on what’s involved in serving on a school board. They were elected to the board in November and take office in January. Keith Klein joined the board a year ago and arguably also qualifies as a new member due for training.
School Matters questioned the closed meeting last week in light of concern about secrecy in the early stages of a search for a new MCCSC superintendent.
There’s no question that it’s legal for the board to have an executive session for the training of new members. Whether the entire board needs to be present for such training is another matter. Also, there’s nothing that says the meeting has to be closed – and one could argue that the community would also benefit from hearing the ISBA’s take on the proper role of board members.