Meetings of the board of education are business meetings for the purpose of setting district policy and governance standards. The board values the benefit of multiple perspectives in the decision-making process and welcomes public comment to help inform and share perspectives. To comply with state laws, make efficient use of meeting time and ensure a fair experience for all individuals who wish to offer a comment, the opportunity to share public comment is provided in the following ways:
- Each individual is provided an opportunity to speak for a single period of no more than two-minutes on each agenda item/topic. An individual may not speak twice on the same agenda item/topic. If an item is before the board for discussion, an individual who has met the two minute limit or who wishes to add additional comments may provide comments in a written format for later consideration by board members. Written comments can be given to staff accepting speaker cards during in-person meetings or be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- There are specific times during a meeting when opportunities for public comment are provided:
- Comments about a topic NOT on the agenda can be shared during general public comment. Standard board meetings offer two opportunities for general public comment, one early in the meeting before business items are considered and one at the end of the meeting before it is adjourned.
- Comments about an item that IS on the agenda should be shared during that agenda item. When an agenda item is called, staff or board members will present on the topic and then a public comment period will be offered. Once the public comment period concludes and board discussion begins, additional comments will not be accepted during the meeting. Written comments can be submitted to staff accepting speaker cards during in-person meetings or sent to email@example.com.
- To help ensure an efficient meeting, each agenda item is limited to 30 minutes of total comment. However, the board may vote to extend that time limit if it is reached.
Board members and the meeting process must comply with state laws including provisions of California's Ralph M. Brown Act. To ensure compliance, board members are not allowed to respond to comments or questions about topics that are not on the meeting agenda. They can ask that the superintendent have staff follow-up with an individual in these situations.
It's also important to note that the board is a policy setting body. Specific questions about a situation, how to access a service or resolve an issue can best be addressed by staff. Consider contacting your school principal or the district's community relations office for assistance.