board room

Board of Education

Public Participation

Ways to Participate

Public Hearings 

 NEW – SRO Post-Hearing Testimony

For those who were not able to secure a speaking slot at the March hearings, the Board would like to provide an additional opportunity for constituents to submit their testimonies through March 25, 2021. If interested, please submit your written, audio, or 3-minute video testimony to BOETestimony@mcpsmd.org and indicate SRO Post-Hearing Testimony in the subject line. Post testimonies will be made available to the public on BoardDocs beginning on March 5, 2021. To view testimonies click HERE.

HEARING NOTICE - School Resource Officer Program (SRO)

Interested in providing testimony concerning the current SRO program?

The Montgomery County Board of Education will hold virtual public hearings on March 2, 2021, at 6:00 p.m., and March 4, 2021, at 4:00 p.m. to hear testimony regarding the current SRO program. 

The current SRO program supports all 25 high schools and 1 alternative program in Montgomery County. Members of the SRO Work Group offered 17 tentative recommendations for the Board of Education to consider in order to meet the “adequate local law enforcement coverage” mandate of the Maryland Safe to Learn Act of 2018. Learn more HERE.

Final recommendations on the future of the SRO program will be brought to the Board by May 2021.

Sign-Up Process

Beginning on Friday, February 12, 2021, at 3:00 p.m. individuals wishing to provide testimony for the virtual hearings must CLICK HERE to register online. Sign-ups for the virtual hearings has closed on Thursday, February 18, at 3 p.m. Audio and video testimony will be due no later than 5 p.m. on February 24, 2021.

Individuals registering may reserve only one space. Space is limited.  Please sign up as early as possible.

Testimony Time & Format

Time limits

The following time limits for testimony apply to public hearings:

1) 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.

 2) Individuals: 3 minutes

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

Testimony Format

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

Speakers selected for one of the testimony slots, 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.

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 focus on addressing the SRO program. 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, dial-in Number: +1-202-860-2110, Access Code: 178 792 9484.

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

The Board of Education designates time, during regular board business meetings, for public comments.  The Board is interested in hearing a broad range of perspectives from the community during this time.  The process for signing up and providing public testimony is outlined below.  If you have questions regarding this process, please submit them to  BOETestimony@mcpsmd.org.

 A.    Sign-Up InstructionsRegular Board Business Meeting Public Comment

Individuals may sign-up to provide public comment at the next Board of Education business meeting HERE. The sign-up period typically opens to the public one week before the business meeting at 6:00 p.m., unless notified otherwise.  

COVID-19 Adjustment - Given the current public health crisis, live public comments are suspended until further notice. Public comments will be accepted in writing, pre-recorded video, or pre-recorded audio formats. All testimonies will be made available to the public on BoardDocs. 

B.     Sign-Up Confirmations  

Up to 20 speakers, will be accepted to provide public comments.  These speakers will be accepted as follows:

     1) Agenda - The first ten (10) individual speakers who sign up to speak to an agenda item will be accepted to provide testimony. 

     2) Non-Agenda - The first five (5) individual speakers who sign up to speak to a non-agenda item, will be accepted to provide comments.

     3) Associations/Organizations – Five (5) speaking slots are reserved for associations and organizations and may be used to speak to an agenda item.  Three of these slots will be reserved for the following associations: Montgomery County Association of Administrators and Principals/Montgomery County Business and Operations Administrators (MCAAP/MCBOA); 2) Montgomery County Education Association (MCEA); and 3) Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 500. The other two reserved slots are for any community or school organizations or associations and will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

     4) Exceptions - The Board reserves the right to limit the number of speakers and/or similar perspectives on a particular agenda topic.  When the Board receives more requests than the allotted number of testimony slots available, registrations from individuals who have testified at a regular board business meeting within the last 30 calendar days may be declined, so that others may have an opportunity to testify.  

In the event that the slots reserved for associations/organizations are not filled, those speaking slots will be offered to those individuals who have signed up to speak on an agenda topic on a first-come, first-served basis.   

   C.    Public Comment Format & Content

Each individual speaker, association and organization will receive two (2) minutes to provide testimony. 

Once the slots for public comment are filled, speakers will receive a confirmation email with instructions about how to prepare video/audio comments for submission. Please adhere to the submission deadline and instructions which will be included in the confirmation email. All written, video and audio, comments for the meeting should be submitted to BOETestimony@mcpsmd.org.    

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 Comment and should be referred to the Superintendent of Schools or processed through available channels. 

Those who are not able to sign up or not selected to provide comments during the meeting, may email comments to BOE@mcpsmd.org. Emails sent to this address are automatically distributed to all Board members and leadership staff.