Guidelines for Public Participation
Guidelines for Public Participation at a Board of Education Meeting
Millburn School District 24 holds meetings twice a month. The first meeting is a committee of the whole meeting in which discussion primarily takes place and the second meeting is a regular BOE meeting in which business is conducted. A regular schedule of meetings may be found on the website at:
A Board of Education meeting is often referred to a “meeting in public,” “not a public meeting.” Generally speaking, this means that the Board of Education meeting is not a public, “town hall” type of meeting where active debate, questions, and conversation are exchanged between the public and the Board of Education members. The intention of this is not to close off communication with the public, but to ensure that the Board of Education is effectively and efficiently conducting business on behalf of the district and making progress toward its goals while adhering to the open meeting laws of the state.
Although this is a meeting of the Board of Education, not a public meeting, the Board recognizes the value of active community participation. A specific time is set aside for public participation at each meeting to comment or make statements for the Board’s consideration that were not covered on the agenda. This portion of the meeting is called “Public Comments.” This is marked on the agenda before the discussion items.
We believe that effective dialogue can occur only in an atmosphere of mutual respect. We invite members of the public to share this commitment with us and respectfully request that anyone wishing to speak during “Public Comments” keep the following guidelines in mind:
- When speaking at meetings, individuals should state their name and identify the organization, if any, they represent.
- Speakers should address the Board President or the Board as a whole, not the audience.
- Those wishing to address the Board should keep their remarks to a reasonable time. The Board President has the authority to limit comments to three (3) minutes.
- The Board President may lengthen or shorten an individual’s opportunity to speak. The President may also deny an individual if the individual has previously addressed the Board on the same subject within the past 2 months.
- Conduct oneself with civility and respect toward others. Complaints against school personnel or students may not be expressed during the open meeting. Such concerns should be submitted in writing to the Board and aired in a closed session.