Types of Decisions School Boards May Make in Closed Sessions

Texas law allows governmental bodies to debate certain types of issues in closed session. For example, legal matters, real estate purchases, and personnel issues may all be discussed in closed or executive sessions. I found this Handbook on the Open Meetings Act that spells out in greater detail what may and may not be discussed outside of public view.

Chapter Eight details guidelines for Open Sessions and begins on Page 40 (or page 45 within the PDF).

Chapter Nine details guidelines for Closed Sessions and begins on Page 45 (or page 50 within PDF).

Download the Texas Attorney General’s OMA_handbook_2016 for future reference.

It appears to me that business items involving the expenditure of money should be discussed in open session. Even when a business item, such as a construction contract, is discussed in a closed session, a Board may not even take a straw vote. See line 1 on page 44, “…a governmental body should not take a “straw vote” or otherwise attempt to count votes in an executive session.”

Read the handbook and form your own opinions.