This from Brad Hughes at KSBA:
Judge: Spencer County board violated Open Meetings law
with closed superintendent evaluation
In a long-awaited decision, Circuit Judge Charles Hickman has ruled that the Spencer County Board of Education violated the Kentucky Open Meetings Act in June 2008 when it conducted its mandatory annual evaluation of Superintendent Charles Adams behind closed doors.
Although the decision only applies to the Spencer County case, the ruling backs last year’s opinion by Attorney General Jack Conway that school boards must evaluate superintendents in public. Spencer County board member Sandy Clevenger sought the opinion after her board evaluated Adams in executive session.
The school board challenged the opinion in a lawsuit that was supported by KSBA, the Kentucky Board of Education, the Kentucky Department of Education, the Kentucky Association of School Administrators and the state’s regional educational cooperatives. A similar challenge involving the 2009 closed session evaluation of Jefferson County Superintendent Sheldon Berman is underway.
In a nine page ruling signed Sept. 29 but only officially entered by the Spencer circuit clerk last Friday, Judge Hickman supported the Attorney General’s opinion that state law doesn’t permit closed door superintendent evaluations.
“The exceptions to the Open Meetings Act are to be strictly construed in light of the decided preference that the public’s business be performed before the eyes of the public,” Hickman wrote....