“The Pennsylvania Sunshine Act, 65 Pa.C.S. §§ 701-716, requires agencies to deliberate and take official action on agency business in an open and public meeting. It requires that meetings have prior notice, and that the public can attend, participate, and comment before an agency takes that official action. Note that the Sunshine Act applies any time a quorum deliberates agency business or takes official action, no matter the physical location of those deliberations or actions.” 
At SASD School Board Action Meetings, very little debate or discussion happens in public before votes. And while the current school board does provide a public comment period, during which members of the public can ask questions, the school board and administrators frequently do not respond to or answer these questions. While it is not required by the Sunshine Act for the board to answer questions, the law does state: “Answering questions can demonstrate a commitment to helping constituents and, in many cases, answering questions informally at a public meeting can reduce future requests under the Right-to-Know Law, which saves time and money for both the agency and the commenter / requester.” 
Another element of transparency is for the public to be able to go back and view previously recorded school board meetings. SASD, according to School Board policy 006.2, destroys their recordings after 30 days.  The meeting minutes provide a good summary but do not provide the level of detail to include statements made by individual board members, administrators, or community members. These statements are important for community members to see and hear long after the meeting is over. Recordings of past school board meetings are available online for many of our surrounding districts and can be found with a quick online search.
We can improve transparency by responding to the public in a timely manner, whether by email or in a public forum. We can change the outdated policy 006.2 and keep recordings of public meetings available for our families and community members to view so that they can see how important decisions are made, on their own schedule.