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Board of Education

Public Participation

Ways to Participate

Public Hearings 

NEW – HEARING NOTICE - Public testimony for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Capital Budget, Amendments to the FY 2021-2026 Capital Improvements Program (CIP), and Recommendation on the Boundary Study

Interested in providing testimony concerning the FY 2022 Capital Budget, Amendments to the FY 2021-2026 CIP, and Recommendation on the Somerset and Westbrook Elementary Schools Boundary Study?

The Montgomery County Board of Education will hold virtual public hearings on November 2, and November 5, 2020, at 6:00 p.m., to hear testimony regarding the FY 2022 Capital Budget, Amendments to the FY 2021-2026 CIP, and Recommendation on the Somerset and Westbrook Elementary Schools Boundary Study. 

Beginning on Monday, October 26, 2020, at 9:00 a.m., individuals wishing to provide testimony for the November 2 and November 5, 2020, virtual hearings must register online. CLICK HERE to register. Individuals registering may reserve only one space. Sign-ups for the virtual hearing on November 2 will end on Wednesday, October 28, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. Sign-ups for the virtual hearing on November 5 will end on Thursday, October 29, 2020, at 5:00 p.m.  

Space is limited.  Please sign up as early as possible.

The following time limits for testimony apply to public hearings, unless otherwise specified by the Board in the hearing notice:

Organizations*/Municipalities/Elected Officials: 5 minutes

*Organizations may include: Montgomery County Regional Student Government Association/Montgomery County Junior Councils, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Parents Council, community organizations, MCCPTA, clusters, and the employee associations. This includes individuals who are providing collective advocacy or a position on behalf of an organization (but not members of organizations who are speaking in their individual capacity).

A speaker who signs up to testify, other than a cluster coordinator or area vice president, may reserve only one space. Only one speaker will be registered for any organization, unless the Board provides otherwise.

Elected officials are given the courtesy of being placed on the agenda at the time of their choice.

Individuals: 3 minutes

Individuals and organizations may not cede time to others who have not been guaranteed a speaking slot. 

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the hearings will be conducted virtually and the Board room and Carver Auditorium will be closed to the public. Therefore, the Board will accept written, pre-recorded video, and audio testimony submitted by email only. Written testimony will be posted on BoardDocs, and pre-recorded video and audio testimony will be played during the hearing. All testimonies will be made available to the public on BoardDocs.

Submission of Testimony and Deadlines

If you are selected for one of the speaking slots, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for video/audio submission. Please adhere to the submission deadline and instructions which will be included in your confirmation email. Please send your video, audio, and/or written testimony to BOETestimony@mcpsmd.org.

Testimonies that do not adhere to submission instructions will be returned and may potentially lose the speaking slot. 

The agenda with the list of speakers will be posted no later than noon on the day of the hearing at https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/boe/meetings/.

 

Hearings, Work Session, and Board Action

The schedule for Board of Education review, public hearings, and action on the Facilities and Boundaries recommendations are as follows:  

  • Monday, October 26, 2020, at 11:00 a.m. – Virtual Facilities and Boundaries Presentation
  • Thursday, October 29, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. – Virtual Facilities and Boundaries Work Session       
  • Monday, November 2, 2020, at 6:00 p.m. – Virtual Facilities and Boundaries Hearings
  • Thursday, November 5, 2020, at 6:00 p.m. – Virtual Facilities and Boundaries Hearings
  • Thursday, November 12, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. – Virtual Facilities and Boundaries Work Session
  • Tuesday, November 17, 2020, at 6:00 p.m. – Virtual Facilities and Boundaries Hearings, if needed
  • Thursday, November 19, 2020, at 5:30 p.m. – Virtual Facilities and Boundaries Decisions.

 

 Collective Advocacy

The Board of Education is interested in hearing from as many people as possible during the hearings and would like to avoid assigning anyone to a waitlist. With that in mind, here are a few suggestions for those who wish to express their collective advocacy for a particular viewpoint: 

Instead of multiple people signing up to provide the same message, consider having a spokesperson or two sign up for the hearings.

Some students may want to testify but may not use the entire time allotted; consider registering two students for one testimony slot and share the three minutes.

If you are not able to sign up for the hearing or are placed on a waitlist, consider emailing your comments to BOE@mcpsmd.org Emails sent to this address are automatically distributed to all Board members and leadership staff.   

 

Testimony Subject Matter

Generally, public testimony should speak to the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and the school boundary issues that are before the Board for action. This is not the proper avenue to address specific student or employee matters, especially those matters on appeal to the Board. Comments about the actions or statements of individual staff members are not appropriate for Public Comments and should be referred to the superintendent of schools or processed through available channels.

 

Broadcasts of Public Hearings and Interpreter Services

All hearings are available to view live (and will be available after the hearings on demand) on the MCPS webpage:

https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/index.aspx 

Hearings also will be broadcast live on Comcast Channel 34 , Verizon FIOS Channel 36, RCN Channel 89, MCPS home page http://montgomeryschoolsmd.org,  MCPS YouTube Channel http://youtube.com/mcpstv, and by phone:   

  • For the hearing on November 2 (Dial-in Number: +1-202-860-2110, Access Code: 171 391 7730).
  • For the hearing on November 5 (Dial-in Number: +1-202-860-2110, Access Code: 171 776 3146).   

Watch in Spanish: MCPS Spanish YouTube Channel http://youtube.com/mcpstvespanol 

TV Channels: Comcast 33, Verizon 35, and RCN 88

 

Additional information about public hearings may be found in the Board of Education Handbook  

 

 

 

 

 

Public Comments at Board Meetings

How Do I Sign-Up to Make a Public Comment?

The Board accepts public comment sign-ups online!

PLEASE NOTE: The meetings will be conducted virtually and the Board room will be closed to the public. Therefore, the Board will accept written, pre-recorded video, and audio testimony submitted by email only. Written testimony will be publicly acknowledged by the Board, and pre-recorded video and audio testimony will be played during the meeting. All testimonies will be made available to the public on BoardDocs. 

NOTICE—Public Testimony 

In order to ensure continued public participation during this unprecedented times, the Board of Education, is now accepting pre-recorded video and audio public testimony, in addition to written testimony. Video and audio testimony must adhere to the same expectation for in-person presentations. 

The form to sign-up to provide public comment at the next Board of Education Business meeting can be found here. The form is generally available from 9 a.m. the Wednesday before the meeting until 12:00 noon on the Friday prior to the scheduled Board meeting, unless notified otherwise. Please note that given the current public health crisis, in person public comments are suspended until further notice. The Board continues to receive written public comments for their consideration. Thank you for your understanding.

At most business meetings, 30 minutes are set aside for Public Comments from residents to encourage public participation. The first fifteen (15) speakers who register online, will be granted three (3) minutes each to speak as follows: 

The Board will reserve ten (10) of the fifteen (15) slots for public comments for speakers who wish to comment on issues that are on the agenda for that day’s Board meeting. The other five (5) slots will be reserved for speakers who wish to comment on other issues that are not specifically on the agenda. Unallocated slots may be filled—first come, first served—on the day of the meeting by signing the appropriate sheet at the Board meeting no later than 15 minutes prior to the scheduled time for Public Comments. 

What is an Appropriate Subject for Public Comments?

This is not the proper avenue to address specific student or employee matters, especially those matters on appeal to the Board. Comments about the actions or statements of individual staff members are not appropriate for Public Comments and should be referred to the Superintendent of Schools or processed through available channels.

Testimony

In advance of the meeting, please email the testimony to boe@mcpsmd.org and indicate the meeting during which you will be testifying.

Written Comments

Individuals and groups may send written comments to the Board. Correspondence sent to the Board president will be copied to all Board members.

Montgomery County Board of Education
850 Hungerford Drive
Rockville, Maryland 20850

Email Comments

Email communications to Board of Education members should be addressed to boe@mcpsmd.org. All Board members will receive the message.