Public Participation at Board Meetings
Although the Open Meetings Law which went into effect in 1977 does not require public participation at meetings of public bodies, the Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to hear public comment. The Board therefore encourages public participation at Board meetings during the “Visitors’ Recognition” and “Comments” periods of the Board meeting agenda. These provide an opportunity for information to be given to the Board for consideration and possible further action and are not dialogs. The first fifteen minutes of each Regular and Workshop meeting agenda will be dedicated to the “Visitors’ Recognition” period during which anyone may address comments directly to the Board on any topic of concern relating to school matters (see Restrictions below). Visitors wishing to address the Board must register their names and the topics they will be addressing with the Clerk of the Board prior to the start of the meeting. A person wishing to speak should first be recognized by the Chairperson and then state name, the name of any organization represented and the topic of concern. Statements should be kept as brief as possible.
The last ten minutes of each Board meeting agenda will be dedicated to the “Comment” period during which anyone may address the Board to comment on any action taken or discussion conducted during the current meeting. Comments during this period will be restricted to one minute per person. A person wishing to speak should first be recognized by the Chairperson and then state name, the name of any organization represented and the topic of concern.
The Chairperson is responsible for the orderly conduct of the meeting and shall rule on the appropriateness of the subject being presented. The Board as a whole shall have the final decision in determining the appropriateness of all such rulings.
In the event that a large number of visitors wish to address the Board on a single topic, the Chairperson, in consultation with the Board members, will determine the appropriateness of convening a special public meeting or provide an alternate forum.
The following topics are unacceptable during the “Visitor Recognition” and “Comments” periods:
- Issues concerning individual students, staff, or parents
- Negotiations for contracts with collective bargaining units
- Comments or complaints about the performance of duties if such comment will identify an individual employee