Empowering Parents group fixes open meeting violation

Monday’s meeting on the Empowering Parents program began with an open meetings do-over.

The problem stemmed from a Monday email, discussing minutes from a July 10 Parent Advisory Panel meeting.

One email, from panel member Holly Cook of Boise, suggested a change to the July 10 minutes. The email went to all panel members — and group emails are considered a violation of open meetings law, since the emails bypass discussion in public view.

And shortly before Monday’s meeting, state superintendent Debbie Critchfield sent a stern warning to the panel.

“I am going to ask that you refrain from emailing the entire panel,” said Critchfield, the panel’s nonvoting chair. “We will need to cure this violation at the start of the Sept. 11 meeting. As a reminder, you can be individually fined for violating open meeting laws.”

The “cure,” or remedy of the open meetings violation, took only a matter of moments. At the advice of deputy attorney general Adam Warr, Critchfield simply read the email aloud, before the panel approved meeting minutes.

“I feel badly that we had to cure an alleged violation on account of me,” Cook said in a text after Monday’s meeting.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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