Pasco County School Board member Megan Harding made a priority of making board meetings more accessible through online videos from the moment she won election in November.
This month, her goal became reality.
After laying the groundwork through policy revisions, procedural changes and minor equipment purchases, the board began recording its sessions on July 2. It intends to continue the initiative when it convenes again Tuesday, where it will begin the formal budget adoption process, hold a public hearing on student progression and adopt several new policies as part of its agenda.
Interested residents and others won’t be able to watch the proceedings live. The board decided to record its meetings and post them to its YouTube channel after the fact, to give time for some basic sound editing, closed captioning and other enhancements.
Viewers also can find the videos linked to the specific date’s online agenda, under the meetings tab. By clicking on the “watch video” button, you can see the action while also following along with the board documentation attached to the agenda.
Harding said she is pleased that the district has taken such a step, and added that she hopes more improvements to the video system will come to make more intuitive connections between the business items and the discussions.
“I want there to be a place where our community can search and find it and be a part of it,” Harding said. “I want it to be easy for our community.”
The board has its next workshop at 3 p.m. Tuesday, and its regular meeting at 6 p.m. It has not made plans to video record its workshops, and explicitly decided not to include public comment on non-agenda items in its meeting videos.
Board members said they would assess how the process is working after they have seen it in action for a while, and make adjustments as needed. The Hillsborough County School Board has faced criticism for not recording or airing workshop sessions, where it has given the administration some major directions and had debate over some high-profile issues.