The Governor’s Education Reform Blue Ribbon Task Force has decided to fully comply with the Open Meeting Law (OML). Dan Klaich, one of the Task Force co-chairs, said that the Task Force would follow the OML, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Last week, the ACLU of Nevada asked Governor Gibbons to open the meetings, and he responded that he would leave the decision to the Task Force.
The ACLU of Nevada is thrilled with the Task Force's decision. The Open Meeting Law is a vital component of democracy. In this instance, openness is of particular importance because of the task force’s mission to advise the Governor and Legislature on education in the state.
“The people should be able to monitor groups that do the people’s business – and public education is certainly the people’s business,” said Maggie McLetchie, Staff Attorney and Interim Southern Program Director of the ACLU of Nevada.
Although the Attorney General’s office issued an opinion that the Task Force was not bound by the Open Meeting Law, Attorney General’s opinions are not binding law. The Open Meeting Law itself, as well as Nevada Supreme Court opinions, make clear that the law should be interpreted in favor of openness and public access.
The ACLU of Nevada will continue to monitor Open Meeting Law issues and was recently invited to join a Committee of the Attorney General to address OML issues. Maggie is looking forward to serving on that committee.
- ACLU of Nevada Primer on Nevada's Open Meeting Law.
- Read the letter the ACLU of Nevada sent to Governor Gibbons and members of the Education Reform Blue Ribbon Task Force on March 22, 2010.
- Read Governor Gibbon's March 26, 2010 response to the ACLU of Nevada's Letter
- ACLU: Governor’s education panel meetings should be open, Las Vegas Sun, 3/22/2010
- ACLU objects to task force's private session, Las Vegas Review-Journal, 3/23/1010
- ACLU wants Gibbons to open schools panel meetings, Associated Press, 3/23/2010
- Allen Lichtenstein discussing the Education Task Force on KXNT radio, 3/23/2010
- Gibbons' education task force not subject to open meeting law, deputy AG says, Las Vegas Review-Journal, 3/24/2010
- Education task force won't follow open meeting law, Las Vegas Review-Journal, 3/26/2010
- Education task force says meetings will follow Nevada law and be open, Las Vegas Review-Journal, 3/31/10