Your humble correspondent took a few days off before the Memorial Day weekend. So we're diverting from our usual TGIF this week, turning the space over for a guest column by John Marion, executive director of Common Cause of Rhode Island, on the highly relevant theme of government transparency and open meetings. Take it away, John ....
Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Block has filed a complaint, accusing the state agency that manages state-owned properties with multiple violations of the Open Meetings Act. The candidate is also calling on the General Assembly to strengthen the law and enhance the penalties for violating it.
A judge has ruled the Rhode Island Board of Education's plan to hold a closed-door retreat violates the state’s Open Meetings Act. The ruling, issued Tuesday, says the public must be allowed to attend a portion of the retreat which will address a controversial high school graduation policy.
At issue is the use of test scores from the New England Common Assessment Program, or NECAP, as a requirement for a high school diploma. The board had planned to gather information about the rule behind closed doors, at a two-day retreat scheduled for later this month.
Lawyers from the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union will be in court Tuesday for a hearing as they try to block the State Board of Education from holding a retreat that’s closed to the public.
The ACLU claims the retreat violates the state’s open meetings act. The group has asked a judge for a temporary restraining order to stop the two-day retreat, scheduled for August 25th and 26th.
The Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit to keep the state’s Board of Education from holding a retreat that’s closed to the public.
The upcoming retreat will feature presentations on high stakes testing. It will be closed to both the media and the public. Rhode Island ACLU chapter executive director Steve Brown said that undermines the state’s open meetings laws.