The sometimes chaotic state of conflict between some School Board members and Lafayette Superintendent Pat Cooper is not an excuse for the board’s violation — for the second time in two years — of the state’s Open Meetings Law.
By law, and for very good reasons, a public body’s agenda must be specific and posted in advance. That’s so people will know what their government is up to, and have a realistic chance to participate.
Last month, the board added an item to its agenda during a special meeting, a resolution opposing some bills in the Legislature.
District Attorney Mike Harson confirmed to The Acadiana Advocate that the addition to the agenda violated the law. The board last year was similarly in the wrong during a politically charged search for an insurance provider.
Nullifying the resolution does not make that much of a difference to the operation of the schools, but the board still should do so, because actions taken in contravention of the Open Meetings Law are void. But a pattern of neglect of the law is troubling because it gets in the way of public participation in government.