Clarke County Board of Education to vote on public comment limits

May 12, 2021

Item 10.3 before the Board of Education makes changes to how public comments would be received.

A proposal in front of the Clarke County Board of Education could make significant changes to public comment at school board meetings. At their meeting tomorrow, Board of Education members are set to vote on a revision to its public comment policy.

The current policy dictates that at regular Board meetings, time should be allotted for “any member of the public to speak.” What the policy in its current form doesn’t say is how long that public comment period should be, which has led to marathon Board meetings with hours of comment from the public on controversial issues.

Individual comments are limited to three minutes each in the current policy, and that’s not going to change in the proposed revision. What will change is the total time reserved for public comment, which would be limited to 45 minutes, if the Board approves the revision. Public comments that can’t be heard in the 45 minute window would still be part of the public record, according to the revision.

Another change moves the deadline by which people have to notify district officials know that they intend to make a public comment. Under the current policy, that deadline is 4:00 PM on the day of the meeting. The revision requires members of the public to notify the Superintendent’s office 24 hours before the meeting.

The full agenda for the Board of Education meeting can be found on the District's BoardDocs page. The Board meets to vote on this and other matters on Thursday at 6pm.