Rules for Public Commentary


(Board Policy 1300)

Public commentary, typically scheduled near the beginning of all regular meetings of the board, shall be limited to an accumulated time of 45 minutes. At all other meetings of the board, excluding executive sessions, public commentary will be limited to 30 minutes.  This limit may be extended at the discretion of the President.

Persons who wish to address the board, and have officially signed up for public commentary, shall be allowed to do so. Speakers must be present during the public commentary period.

The number of speakers will be evenly divided into the 45-minute time limit, and each speaker will be assigned an equal share of time in which to address the board. Maximum time for individual speakers should not exceed four minutes. Exceptions to this time limit may be made with prior arrangement at the discretion of the President.

Those who wish to address the board must sign up either by:
  • Arranging an appointment to speak by calling, writing, or emailing the Board of Education Office by 5:00 p.m. the day preceding the meeting.  Speakers arranging their time in this way will be placed first on the public commentary list; or
  • Filling out a Public Commentary Card at the meeting and delivering it to the Board’s Recording Secretary prior to the President announcing the “Public Commentary” period as he/she proceeds through the meeting agenda.

Speakers may not cede their time to others, and failure to speak will not increase the time allowed other speakers.  No speaker will be allowed to address the board more than once during the same meeting.

Each speaker should announce their name and whether they represent any organization or agency.

Speakers may leave a copy of their written comments for inclusion in the Board minutes.

Speakers should take into account the rules of common courtesy and refrain from making  personal attacks against employees, volunteers, students, parents, community members, or members of the board. If the comments constitute a complaint against an employee, the employee has the right to request a closed meeting.  Speakers are encouraged to present complaints about a specific employee, board member, or student through proper channels established under board policy before requesting board consideration.

Members of the board and district employees will not answer questions during public commentary. Previously stated board policies or administrative rules and regulations may, however, be explained. A board member may, with the President's permission, ask a question of a speaker, otherwise no dialogue shall occur. Speakers wanting a written response should note their request on the Public Commentary Card. The questioner's contact information shall be taken for a personal reply at a later time.


Revised:  10/27/04    Effective:  11/10/04