The Prince William County School Board is considering revisions to Policy 134, Citizen Participation. (Outlined below article)
The revisions are intended to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the School Board’s business meetings, while ensuring citizen voice in matters of public concern.
The revisions will also assist in moving School Board business earlier in the evening, improving visibility into Board Decision making for the public, including students.
Specifically, the policy revisions will increase citizen participation at the start of the meeting from a 30-minute citizen comment period, to a one-hour citizen comment period, at each regularly scheduled School Board business meeting agenda.
In order to maximize the number of speakers, each citizen will have two-minutes for comments. Citizen comment sign-ups will be required in advance of the School Board meeting via a link on the PWCS website.
The first thirty minutes will be reserved for agenda items before the School Board. The remaining time will be open to any topic (relevant to PWCS).
Citizens will also have the opportunity to submit written or video testimony outside the Board meeting that will be shared with all School Board Members.
The revisions include added language pertaining to the confidentiality of personal contact information provided by speakers to the Clerk in accordance with recent legislative changes to Virginia Freedom of Information Act which render such information exempt from public disclosure unless the speaker indicates otherwise.
In order to ensure public safety, provide others with an unimpeded view, and minimize distractions and disorder during meetings, an additional provision was added prohibiting signage in the Board meeting room, except for approved signage during student presentations.
The School Board will consider the policy as information at its September 1, 2021 meeting, followed by a vote as part of the agenda for September 15, 2021.
This form will be completed for all new policies and regulations and for all recommendations for revisions to or deletions of policies and regulations of Prince William County Public Schools. Attach any information which would be helpful to understand the proposed changes or actions.
Recommended by: Staff ☐ Division Counsel ☒ Board Member ☒
Date Prepared: 8/23/2021 Recommendation: add ☐, revise ☒, or delete ☐ the following Policy (P) or Regulation R) numbers and titles:
Brief summary of the proposed addition or changes:
In light of restrictions on the citizen comment period required during the pandemic, and in order to update and increase the means by which the School Board can obtain such input in the future, the following proposed changes were suggested by one or more School Board members:
Revised November 4, 2019
Brief description of why addition or changes are needed or required.
Staff analysis of the proposed addition or changes in terms of the following:
Legal implications; educational benefits; impact on the administration of the School Division; immediate and future changes in numbers of assignments of personnel; immediate and future budgetary impact. N/A Signature of Individual Submitting Policy/Regulation for Review Date
The policy and/or regulation has been reviewed by Division Counsel.
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