Local Newspaper Adds Sunshine to Madison Schools Budget Process via an Open Records Request…

Molly Beck

Even so, “I don’t think they followed the law,” Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council president Bill Lueders said after reviewing minutes from the meetings.

“I think they interpreted the (open meetings law) exemption overbroadly. The idea of an open meetings law is that exemptions are supposed to be for extraordinary circumstances and narrowly applied.”

Lueders said minutes from other closed School Board meetings obtained by the State Journal also raise questions about whether the discussions should have been held before the public.

April Barker, a Waukesha-based attorney and council member who specializes in open records issues, said some of the topics discussed were “bottom-line budget impact discussions and policy and procedure discussions,” which are not exempt from the state’s open meetings law.

“It looks like there are some troubling and overreaching exercises of closed session represented,” Barker said.