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Old District 46 minutes can now be read

Published: Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013 11:09 p.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013 11:11 p.m. CDT

PRAIRIE GROVE – The District 46 school board released the minutes from 259 closed-session meetings last week.

While the board reviews its closed-session minutes every six months, it had not been reassessing old minutes to see whether they could be released.

This was recently realized, the district said in a release, and so minutes from 359 meetings dating to 1993 were reviewed.

Of those minutes, 100 had previously been made public, and the remaining ones have been posted to the district’s website – 231 of them released in full and 28 with confidential information redacted.

The board has been reviewing its policy on closed-session minutes after the Northwest Herald requested the Illinois Attorney General’s Office review several of the district’s meetings for Open Meetings Act violations.

The Attorney General’s Office denied the request because state law requires challenges to be filed within 60 days of the violation.

The disparity between the Open Meetings Act timeline and another state law, which requires local governments to review minutes from their closed-door meetings every six months, surprised board President Margaret Ponga.

She proposed that the board review closed-session minutes every two months instead of the six months required by state law, and the board passed the policy change at its Sept. 10 meeting.

The board also discussed posting its board packets, monthly bills and treasurer’s reports on the district’s website after meetings.

On the Net

To view the minutes, go to www.dist46.org and click on the “School Board” link.

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