Public Participation at Board Meetings

The Open Meeting Law permits the public to view meetings not participate in the meetings. Citizens have no legal right to be a part of the meeting and participate in deliberations. However the board believes in public input under most conditions.

In order to assure that persons who wish to appear before the Board may be heard and at the same time, conduct its meetings properly and efficiently, the Board adopts the following procedures and rules pertaining to public participation at board meetings.

  1. Individuals or groups wishing to address the Board or have the board address a particular topic are asked to make their request in writing to the Superintendent of Schools outlining what is to be discussed and naming a spokesperson. Requests should be received no later than 1:00 P.M. on Thursday preceding the Monday of the regular monthly meeting so that the presentation can be included on the agenda. Persons making requests will be advised by the Superintendent that they are on the agenda or that the action will be delayed to another time. By having the topic on the agenda the necessary information can be gathered and study be given to allow fair consideration of the matter. Also by including the topic as a part of the agenda which is published, others with similar or differing views on a matter will be able to attend and express their viewpoint. Although the board may elect to hear a speaker who has not made arrangements to be on the agenda, it may choose to delay doing so or taking action until more information is available and to learn if the positions presented represent the feelings of the majority.

    If an individual or group wishes to address the board in a special meeting, the request will be made to the superintendent in writing at least twenty-four hours prior to the meeting. The superintendent is to inform the person making the request whether they will be on the agenda as soon as he or she can within reason and at least before the meeting begins. At a special meeting only the items for which the meeting was called can be addressed.

    Appeals of disciplinary decisions are to be made as described in School Board Policy Book, Section Five under “Student Behavior”. There is no entitlement to a board hearing as an appeal to disciplinary decisions except in the case of long term suspensions although the board may grant a hearing for other matters.

  2. Matters that should be dealt with initially at the administrative level will not be considered by the board until an effort has been made to handle them at that level. Speakers may offer such objective criticism of school operations and programs as concern them. But in public sessions, the board will not hear personal complaints about school personnel unless the speaker or a representative of his group has first contacted the Superintendent and the issue has not been satisfactorily resolved.

  3. The superintendent or board may invite people who have not requested to appear on the agenda to address the board if they have information or views that relates to a matter under consideration.

  4. Time shall be included in each meeting to recognize guests. Guests will sign in before the meeting and if they want to address the board they will indicate so and the topic. The board will hear from them at the appropriate time in the meeting if they have requested to address the board. If there are guests who did not arrange to be on the agenda and who request to speak, the board will decide in each case whether to deal with the issue at that time or later.

  5. Not more than thirty minutes shall be set aside for public participation unless the board extends the time by majority vote due to the nature or urgency of the topic.

  6. Individuals will be limited to five minutes for a presentation unless the president extends the time.

  7. If the board wishes, it may adjourn the meeting to another date or call a special meeting to give the public additional opportunity to address the board on a matter.

  8. Every person who wishes to speak at a school board meeting must be recognized by the presiding officer and state their name and the subject matter of their presentation. The presiding officer shall determine if the matter is proper before allowing the person to speak. Non-residents of the district will not be recognized to address the board unless the matter directly affects them or their immediate family, unless invited to do so by the board.

  9. Action on requests of those appearing before the board may by necessity be deferred pending board consideration.

  10. Members of the board and the superintendent shall have the privilege of asking questions of any person who addresses the board. Revised: August 8, 1993

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