Board meetings are not “public” meetings but rather meetings held in public. By law, all board discussion and deliberations must be conducted in public except for certain matters—personnel, negotiations, and legal—that must be discussed in closed session. However, all official board action (voting) must occur in public.
There are specific times noted on the agenda when public comments are received. Comments are not restricted to items on the agenda. However, not all comments are appropriate for the open session. Comments regarding specific student discipline cases or personnel issues, for example, are not allowed during the open session. Generally, these types of comments should be referred to the teacher, principal, or administrator who is closest to the situation.
Typically board members do not engage in dialogue with the public during its meetings. If the question is in regard to an item on the agenda, the board may answer the question while that agenda item is being discussed. The board can also direct district administration to follow up on individual questions outside of the board meeting.
The board rarely can be expected to act immediately on an issue brought before it for the first time. Even with more familiar issues, the board takes action only after it thoroughly examines all aspects of a matter. Individuals can, however, expect the board to act as promptly as circumstances allow and notify them when it arrives at a decision.
- A public comment information card should be completed and presented to the board secretary prior to the meeting.
- After being recognized to speak, the individual may be seated at the presentation table.
- Individuals addressing the board should state their names along with the organizations, if any, that they represent.
- Comments are limited to five minutes per person. Written comments may be given to the board secretary for distribution to board members.
- The board president maintains order during the meeting and calls an end to comments and discussion when appropriate.