Attleboro residents could receive more insight into what exactly happened during a recent executive session discussion on the employment of Superintendent Pia Durkin. The committee will meet in executive session, which takes place behind closed doors, on Thursday to discuss the possible release of minutes from executive session meetings dating back to January.
What is of interest to many school district observers are the records from an executive session that took place in early May. School Committee Vice Chair Brenda Furtado disappointed, upset or shocked (depending on one's viewpoint) many people when that the majority of the committee had voted at the executive session in early May to form a superintendent search group. School Committee member David Murphy told The Sun Chronicle he didn't know what she was talking about. Committee Chair Mike Tyler has declined to discuss the issue until the minutes of the executive session could be released.
Durkin's contract runs through the end of June 2013. In response to Furtado's statement at last week's meeting, she told The Chronicle she does not plan to stay in the district after the contract expires, according to the newspaper.
State law requires a government body to review executive session minutes "at reasonable intervals" to determine if they should be released. Minutes and other records from an executive session must be released "once disclosure would no longer defeat the purposes of the executive session," according to the website of the state Attorney General's office. Some records could be protected if they fall under specific exemptions that can be found here (scroll down to "twenty-sixth, public records"). Whether a government panel decides to form a search group is not one of the exemptions.
Following the executive session Thursday night, the school committee will reconvene in regular session to announce what records are being released. State law requires public records to be made available within 10 days of a request.
The Thursday meeting will begin at 7 p.m.