Budget Adoption Information for FY 2017-2018

As required by Texas Education Code §§44.002 and 44.004(a), a school district is required to adopt a budget for the next succeeding fiscal year by June 30th or August 31st. Government Code §551.045 allows exceptions to the general rule for posting notices and agendas for board meetings. In cases of emergencies that meet certain criteria, a district may post a notice and agenda two hours before the called board meeting, must include in the notice the emergency or the urgent public necessity, and alert the media at least one hour before the meeting.  Additionally, Government Code §551.125 provides additional flexibility in emergency situations to allow for the board meeting to be held by teleconference. Both statutory provisions are set out below.

In addition, the Texas Attorney General has an Open Meetings Act Hotline: 877-673-6839

Also a resource: The Open Meetings Act Manual: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/files/og/OMA_handbook_2016.pdf

Sec. 551.045.  EXCEPTION TO GENERAL RULE:  NOTICE OF EMERGENCY MEETING OR EMERGENCY ADDITION TO AGENDA.  (a)  In an emergency or when there is an urgent public necessity, the notice of a meeting or the supplemental notice of a subject added as an item to the agenda for a meeting for which notice has been posted in accordance with this subchapter is sufficient if it is posted for at least two hours before the meeting is convened.

(b)  An emergency or an urgent public necessity exists only if immediate action is required of a governmental body because of:
         (1)  an imminent threat to public health and safety;  or
         (2)  a reasonably unforeseeable situation.
(c)  The governmental body shall clearly identify the emergency or urgent public necessity in the notice or supplemental notice under this section.
(d)  A person who is designated or authorized to post notice of a meeting by a governmental body under this subchapter shall post the notice taking at face value the governmental body's stated reason for the emergency or urgent public necessity.
(e)  For purposes of Subsection (b)(2), the sudden relocation of a large number of residents from the area of a declared disaster to a governmental body's jurisdiction is considered a reasonably unforeseeable situation for a reasonable period immediately following the relocation.  Notice of an emergency meeting or supplemental notice of an emergency item added to the agenda of a meeting to address a situation described by this subsection must be given to members of the news media as provided by Section 551.047 not later than one hour before the meeting.

Sec. 551.125.  OTHER GOVERNMENTAL BODY.  (a)  Except as otherwise provided by this subchapter, this chapter does not prohibit a governmental body from holding an open or closed meeting by telephone conference call.

(b)  A meeting held by telephone conference call may be held only if:
         (1)  an emergency or public necessity exists within the meaning of Section 551.045 of this chapter;  and
         (2)  the convening at one location of a quorum of the governmental body is difficult or impossible;  or
         (3)  the meeting is held by an advisory board.
(c)  The telephone conference call meeting is subject to the notice requirements applicable to other meetings.
(d)  The notice of the telephone conference call meeting must specify as the location of the meeting the location where meetings of the governmental body are usually held.
(e)  Each part of the telephone conference call meeting that is required to be open to the public shall be audible to the public at the location specified in the notice of the meeting as the location of the meeting and shall be recorded.  The recording shall be made available to the public.
(f)  The location designated in the notice as the location of the meeting shall provide two-way communication during the entire telephone conference call meeting and the identification of each party to the telephone conference shall be clearly stated prior to speaking.