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Guidelines for Public Comment at State Board of Education Meetings
Colorado State Board of Education Policy Regarding Public Comments at Board Meetings
For the purposes of this policy, “Chair” refers to the Chair of the State Board Education.
Pursuant to the Colorado State Board of Education Operating Procedures, the State Board of Education (Board) should at every regular meeting provide time for citizens to address the Board and the timeframe should be made public through the posted public notice.
The information outlined below provides details on public comment procedures for in-person and virtual meetings. Members of the public can also submit their comments in writing to the state board at firstname.lastname@example.org for distribution to all members.
- Public comment will be held shortly after the meeting is called to order on the first day of each regular two-day meeting (usually a Wednesday) and at the end of the meeting unless designated otherwise when the agenda is made public.
- Registration for public comment will open a half hour prior to the start of the board meeting.
- Sign-up for the morning public comment is limited to 10 speakers and registration is first-come, first-served. The number of speakers for afternoon public comment is determined by the chair.
- The state board chair (or meeting presider) will explain the meeting procedures and call on speakers in order of their registration.
- Comments are limited to three minutes per speaker. Time will be monitored by staff using a timer. When that time expires, the speaker is permitted to complete a sentence but should make no further remarks.
- The chair may extend the agenda item. While offering a public forum is important to the board, it is also necessary to ensure that the board allows enough time to conduct its regular business.
- At the discretion of the chair, public comment may be closed and reopened at a later time or date to be announced.
- Public comment submissions may not be related to personnel matters or quasi-judicial issues pending before the board related to accountability clock hearings or charter school appeals. This will also be announced at the beginning of the public comment and posted on the registration form.
- The board chair reserves the right to limit the time available for public comment.
- Any written public comment that is submitted via email will be uploaded to BoardDocs. Documents submitted to the Board are public records. If you have information that you wish to keep private (names, address, phone numbers, etc.) please remove the information before submitting the document to the board.
- All board meetings are recorded. Those recordings are available on the state board website as part of the permanent, public record.
- Signs, banners, and other distracting items are not allowed in the state board room. Staff will ask you to leave materials outside the room or you may be asked to leave.
- All speakers, and those in attendance, shall conduct themselves in a non-disruptive manner. Cheering, snapping, clapping and other distractions are not allowed during or upon completion of any public comment.
- State board members do not respond to public comments during this segment of the board meeting.
- Public comment will not be taken at special meetings.
If the monthly state board meeting is held virtually, public comment can be submitted in written format (email@example.com) by 5:00 p.m. the day before the meeting. It will be read aloud by staff at the selected time on the agenda.
Do's and Don'ts for Giving Public Comment
§ Introduce yourself and where you are from. If you are speaking on behalf of an organization, identify the organization and your association.
§ If speaking to a specific agenda item, limit your remarks to the subject of the agenda item and avoid repeating what others have said.
§ Be brief, to the point, and concise.
§ If you believe an issue needs to be explained in-depth, and you bring handouts, please pass them to staff prior to making your comments. Be sure to include your name and date of the meeting on the handout.
§ Expect the Board to answer questions you may have.
§ Expect the board to be able to intervene with local school district issues. As Colorado is a local control state, district-specific issues should be resolved locally. If you have questions about state law and local requirements, CDE staff may be able to assist you in finding an appropriate way to address your concerns.
§ Attempt to argue or debate with the board.
§ Discuss personnel matters with the board. This should be done in private with the chair and/or vice-chair of the board.