Public Participation at Board Meetings

Public Participation at Board Meetings

 

The Board recognizes the value of school governance through public comment on educational issues and the importance of allowing members of the public to express themselves on school matters of community interest during Board meetings and workshops. The rules of public comment apply to Board business meetings and workshops.

 

For the purposes of public participation there will be two (2) opportunities:

  • A member of the public may speak during the public comment section of the agenda.
  • A member of the public may speak on one (1) or more specific propositions on the agenda.

For purposes of the policy, a proposition is an action item taken before the Board for a vote. It does not include items on such as reports, updates, recognitions, Superintendent comments, Board comments, or similar items on the agenda. A proposition does not include items wherever found on the agenda upon which the Board votes in its quasi-judicial capacity (i.e., employment termination hearing).

 

Persons who desire to speak before the Board may sign up to speak online at the District’s website www.manateeschools.net once the agenda is posted or in person by filling out a “Public Comment Card” prior to the start of the Board meeting.

 

If a proposition is added to the agenda after the start of the meeting, an opportunity will be granted for the public to exercise their right to participate.

 

Each statement made by a member of the public shall be limited to three (3) minutes duration. Persons will be recognized in the order in which the requests were received, sorted by agenda item.

 

Public comment is not an open forum to discuss matters unrelated to education, to support or oppose candidates for public office, or to engage in commercial speech attempting to sell a service or product to the School Board or public. Also, public comments is not a forum to attack individual school system employees or board members. Any such complaints should be submitted in writing to the superintendent for appropriate handling. Finally, this is not a forum for addressing issues involving individual students. Because of privacy concerns, such issues should be submitted in writing to the superintendent for appropriate handling.

 

A School Board meeting is a business meeting of the Board and is conducted it in an orderly, efficient, effective and dignified manner.  We request that the audience keep that in mind and not demonstrate approval or disapproval of what a speaker has said by clapping or booing.

 

The Board appreciates the public's input and will listen attentively, consider each comment, and usually will not respond, enter into debate, or answer questions during comments on agenda items or during the public comments section.