South Carolina General Assembly
125th Session, 2023-2024
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Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
Sponsors: Senators Hembree, Gustafson, Verdin, Climer and Campsen
Document Path: SEDU-0004DB23.docx
Introduced in the Senate on January 10, 2023
Introduced in the House on February 16, 2023
Currently residing in the House Committee on Education and Public Works
HISTORY OF LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS
|Date||Body||Action Description with journal page number|
|11/30/2022||Senate||Referred to Committee on Education|
|1/10/2023||Senate||Introduced and read first time (Senate Journal-page 75)|
|1/10/2023||Senate||Referred to Committee on Education (Senate Journal-page 75)|
|2/8/2023||Scrivener's error corrected|
|2/8/2023||Senate||Committee report: Favorable Education (Senate Journal-page 46)|
|2/14/2023||Senate||Read second time (Senate Journal-page 21)|
|2/14/2023||Senate||Roll call Ayes-43 Nays-0 (Senate Journal-page 21)|
|2/15/2023||Senate||Read third time and sent to House (Senate Journal-page 8)|
|2/16/2023||House||Introduced and read first time (House Journal-page 19)|
|2/16/2023||House||Referred to Committee on Education and Public Works (House Journal-page 19)|
View the latest legislative information at the website
VERSIONS OF THIS BILL
February 8, 2023
Introduced by Senators Hembree and Gustafson
S. Printed 02/08/23--S.
Read the first time January 10, 2023
The committee on Senate Education
To who was referred a Bill (S. 134) to amend the South Carolina Code of Laws by adding Section 59-19-85 so as to promote public access to school board meetings by requiring school boards to adopt, etc., respectfully
That they have duly and carefully considered the same, and recommend that the same do pass:
GREG HEMBREE for Committee.
TO AMEND THE SOUTH CAROLINA CODE OF LAWS BY ADDING SECTION 59-19-85 SO AS TO PROMOTE PUBLIC ACCESS TO SCHOOL BOARD MEETINGS BY REQUIRING SCHOOL BOARDS TO ADOPT AND IMPLEMENT POLICIES THAT PROVIDE LIVE ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION OF SUCH MEETINGS, TO EXTEND APPLICABILITY OF THESE PROVISIONS TO THE GOVERNING BODIES OF CHARTER SCHOOLS AND SPECIAL SCHOOLS, TO PROVIDE FLEXIBILITY IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES, AND TO PROVIDE RELATED REQUIREMENTS OF THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION; AND TO PROVIDE THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT MUST BE IMPLEMENTED BEFORE JULY 1, 2024.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Article 1, Chapter 19, Title 59 of the S.C. Code is amended by adding:
Section 59-19-85. (A) Each public school governing body, including the governing bodies of charter schools and special schools, must make reasonable and necessary efforts to ensure the entirety of meetings of its regularly scheduled or special called meetings of its full governing body are open and accessible to the public and also available by means of live electronic access, such as livestream transmission, except during a lawful executive session.
(B) If a governing body cannot provide such live electronic public access despite making reasonable and necessary efforts to restore livestream transmission during the meeting, it must make a clear audio and video recording of the meeting in its entirety available on its website as soon as practicable and in no event more than two business days after the meeting.
(C) The State Board of Education shall adopt, and revise as necessary, a model livestream meeting policy suitable for governing bodies of public schools, including charter and special schools, to comply with provisions in this section. The policy must include, at a minimum:
(1) resources, recommendations, and best practices facilitating requirements for all portions of streamed meetings to be visible and audible in real-time and subsequently posted on applicable websites within two business days of the meeting;
(2) suggested approaches for developing and implementing livestreaming and expanding or improving existing livestream capacity;
(3) publicizing availability of livestream meetings;
(4) allowances for executive sessions;
(5) penalties for policy violations or noncompliance not to exceed one percent of state funds to the district, charter school, or special school, with escalating tiers based on frequency, duration, and severity; and
(6) the process for allowing a governing body with evidence of limited or no broadband access to request approval from the State Board of Education for up to an additional twelve months to comply with provisions in this section.
(D)(1) Each public school governing body, including the governing bodies of charter schools and special schools, shall adopt a local policy applicable to its meetings within three months after adoption of the model policy by the State Board of Education. A local policy must include, at a minimum, the State Board of Education model policy.
(2) If the State Board of Education adopts a revision to the model policy, then the governing body shall adopt and incorporate the revision into its local policy within three months after the adoption of the revision by the State Board of Education.
(3) A governing body only may adopt or revise its local policy at a regularly scheduled meeting, which must be successfully livestreamed.
(4) A governing body may not adopt or follow a livestream policy that prevents or impedes in-person participation by the public except as may be reasonable and necessary for the orderly transaction of its business.
(5) Within thirty days after adoption of a local policy or revision to the policy, a governing body shall submit a copy of the policy or revision to the State Superintendent of Education for State Board of Education approval.
SECTION 2. The provisions of this act must be implemented before July 1, 2024.
SECTION 3. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
This web page was last updated on September 8, 2023 at 12:50 PM