Akron Public Schools board to begin livestreaming committee meetings

The Akron Public Schools Board of Education will begin livestreaming committee meetings on its YouTube page following approval of a new policy this week.

Members of the Akron Public Schools board.
Members of the Akron Public Schools board.

The board voted Monday to approve the policy, which will make all board meetings available online. The board began streaming all meetings when they were virtual during the height of the pandemic, but once the board returned in person, only regular business meetings, held every two weeks, and special meetings of the full board have been recorded and broadcast.

Now, meetings of the board's four committees will also be streamed live and available to watch later on the district's YouTube page. The board has committees that deal with finances, academics, policies and equity. Each usually meets monthly.

Board President N.J. Akbar said the policy aims to increase transparency of the board, which usually has deeper discussions on items during committee meetings before voting during business meetings.

"We acknowledge that not every person has the flexibility to attend Monday meetings in person or view the meeting on the day that we hold them," Akbar said. "This policy strengthens our fidelity to our responsibility for transparency and openness to our citizens."

Akbar said he also hopes the new policy will create further engagement with the public, calling it an "imperative" that will not alter how the board operates.

"It will, however, give each of our community stakeholders a birds-eye view into our process to understand how we arrive at the votes at our regular board meetings," he said. "This principle is important to cultivate and maintain the trust that our community has in our schools."

Contact education reporter Jennifer Pignolet at jpignolet@thebeaconjournal.com, at 330-996-3216 or on Twitter @JenPignolet.

This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Akron Public Schools board to begin livestreaming committee meetings