After repeated requests by Tallahassee Reports, Leon County Schools finally provided information that indicates that LCS failed to properly follow Florida Sunshine Laws related to 45 agenda review meetings during the period covering January, 2017 to August, 2019.
Specifically, LCS failed to properly produce complete minutes of the meetings and failed to audio record 10 of the 45 meetings.
Superintendent Rocky Hanna, who was elected in late 2016, instituted the agenda review process beginning in 2017. The agenda review meetings involve elected school board members, the superintendent and high level staff. The meetings occur the day before the LCS Business meeting, which is broadcast live.
An in-depth investigation of the 45 meetings, based on information provided by LCS, show the following:
- none of the 45 meetings have minutes consistent with the Florida Sunshine Law. The Government-In-Sunshine-Manual states the term minutes in the Florida statutes, section 286.01, “contemplates a brief summary or series of brief notes or memoranda reflecting the events of the meeting..”
- ten of the forty-five meetings were not audio recorded. Due to the lack of meeting minutes, what occurred at these ten meetings between five school board members, the superintendent, and high level LCS employees is not documented.
- two of the meetings were not noticed on the LCS agenda.
After TR began investigating, LCS implemented changes to the process of memorializing the agenda review meetings beginning in September, 2019. These changes included the production of detailed minutes addressing the content of the agenda review meetings.
Also, on the missing audio recordings, Dr. Michelle Gayle, LCS Assistant Superintendent, stated in an email to TR that there “were technical malfunctions during these meetings. We have implemented additional back up measures to ensure that we have multiple copies of the audio recordings of these meetings.”