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Public Participation Guidelines and Rules

The primary purpose for public participation in board of education meetings is to hear citizens’ views on ways to improve the operation, educational programs and communication of our school. To this end, we welcome your comments and insight and will give all ideas proper consideration.

There are three ways for the public to be heard at the board meeting:

1. If you have a topic that you would like addressed at the board meeting: The most effective way to have your voice heard is to have your request placed on the agenda by the district office. The agenda is normally set at least four business days prior to a regular meeting, and this information is distributed to board members in advance of the meeting, allowing for time to research and gather information on your item of interest. In this way, everyone can participate in informed discussion on the topic at hand.

2. If you wish to speak about an agenda item already on the agenda for the meeting: Prior to the start of the meeting, inform the superintendent or the chairperson of your wishes. Under most circumstances, you will be provided an opportunity to address the board on your item of interest.

3. Open Forum: There will be an open forum near the beginning of the meeting, where the public will have an opportunity to voice an opinion on any topic. Please bear in mind that this is not intended for a back-and-forth discussion time, but is primarily a means to inform the board of items of interest and/or consideration.

Of course, any of these options are subject to the limitations and requirements listed below:

The State of Minnesota has strict rules regarding discussion of matters at public meetings considered under the Data Privacy Act to be private. These specifically include, but are not limited to, personnel issues, job performance and derogatory comments on students, administrators, staff and/or teachers. Slander, character assassination, defamatory remarks and abusive language will not be allowed and ruled out of order by the chairperson. Questions that regard personnel issues should be directed in writing to the district superintendent for discussion with the relevant parties involved.

Board of Education meetings are required to follow a standard agenda. In order to conduct business in an orderly fashion, we ask that you limit your presentation to five minutes or less. If there are many persons who wish to express the same viewpoint, we also request that you name a spokesperson for your group who can clearly state your opinions. If there are a large number of speakers to be heard, the board reserves the right to limit the time or the number of speakers. Speakers will be asked to state their names and addresses for the clerk to record in the meeting minutes.

Board members or the superintendent may question or comment in response to your statements.

It is a policy of the Board of Education not to take immediate action on an item that is brought up at a meeting without the time for proper research and study, unless the item is of an emergency nature.

We thank you for your participation and welcome your attendance in the future!

I.S.D. #75 Board of Education