board room

Board of Education

Public Participation

NEW - Operating Budget Hearing Notice

Interested in providing testimony to the Board of Education concerning the superintendent's recommended Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Operating Budget? The superintendent will release his recommended FY 2020 Operating Budget on December 18, 2018.  A hearing was held on Wednesday, January 9, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. and another hearing is scheduled for Monday, January 14, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. at Carver Educational Services Center Auditorium, 850 Hungerford Drive, Rockville, MD. 

PLEASE NOTE: Registration for the hearings are closed.

General Information

Beginning on Wednesday, December 19, 2018, at 9:00 a.m., individuals wishing to testify during the January 9 or January 14, 2019, hearing sessions must register online. CLICK HERE to register. Individuals registering to speak may reserve only one space. (Opportunity to sign up has ended on Monday, January 7, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. for the hearing on Wednesday, January 9, 2019, and sign-ups have ended on Thursday, January 10, 2019, at 9:00 a.m., for the hearing on Monday, January 14, 2019.) You do not need to sign up to attend and observe the hearings. Each speaker will receive three minutes to provide testimony. (Please note: The three minute time limit applies to all speakers, except for elected officials, designated cluster representatives, and designated employee association representatives, who will each have five minutes to testify.)

Each speaker is requested to provide the written testimony no later than listed below:

  • For the January 9, 2019, hearing, please submit testimony no later than 12:00 p.m. January 9, 2019.
  • For the January 14, 2019, hearing, please submit testimony no later than 12:00 p.m. January 14, 2019.

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

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:

  1. Instead of multiple people signing up to provide the same message, consider having a spokesperson or two sign up for the hearings and having others stand up during the spokesperson’s testimony to demonstrate collective agreement/support for the testimony.
  2. 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.
  3. If you are not able to attend a hearing or are placed on a waitlist, consider e-mailing your comments to boe@mcpsmd.org. Emails sent to this address are automatically distributed to all Board members and select staff members.

Ways to Participate

Schedules

Hearings, Work Session, and Board Action 

The schedule for Board of Education review, public hearings, and action on the Operating Budget is as follows:

  1. December 18, 2018 - superintendent releases recommended Operating Budget. 
  2. January 9 and 14, 2019 (at 6:00 p.m.) - the Board will hold public hearings on the Operating Budget. 
  3. January 17 and 24, 2019 (at 3:00 p.m.) - the Board will hold work sessions on the Operating Budget. 
  4. February 12, 2019 (at 2:00 p.m.) - the Board will take tentative action on the recommended Operating Budget. 

The schedule for providing testimony on the Operating Budget is as follows:

  • December 19, 2018, at 9:00 a.m., sign-ups begin online for individuals wishing to testify about the Operating Budget. 
  • January 7, 2019, at 9:00 a.m., sign-ups ceased for January 9, 2019, hearing; please submit testimony no later than 12:00 p.m. January 9 for that hearing. 
  • January 10, 2019, at 9:00 a.m., sign-ups ceased for January 14, 2019, hearing; please submit testimony later than 12:00 p.m. January 14 for that hearing.   

Due to inclement weather, this schedule could change, so please check our website. 

Public Hearings

The Board of Education schedules public hearings on issues it determines to be of widespread interest and concern. A quorum of the Board is not required to be present for a hearing to be conducted. In addition to special public hearings, the Board holds hearings on its strategic plan, annual operating budget, proposed Capital Improvement Program (CIP), and school boundaries. Hearings for the proposed capital budget and CIP and/or boundaries are governed by Board Policy FAA, Long-Range Educational Facilities Planning.

General guidelines for public hearings are as follows:


  1. The subject, date, and opportunities for signup for a public hearing are typically publicized through the Board’s customary communications channels. Unless otherwise stated in the hearing notice, signups generally begin three weeks prior to the hearing date.
  2. The agenda for the hearing is closed when the maximum number of speakers is registered or at the close of business the day before the hearing.
  3. 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 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 unions.)
  • Individuals: 3 minutes

A person calling to speak, 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. Individuals and organizations may not cede time to others who have signed up. Elected officials are given the courtesy of being placed on the agenda at the time of their choice. Speakers are requested to provide 20 copies of their statement at the hearing, for distribution to the Board, staff, and press. Speakers are requested to submit their testimony to the Board of Education office at least 24 hours in advance of the hearing.

Public hearings are recorded, televised, and transmitted via webcast.

Public Comments at Board Meetings

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

The Board is now accepting sign-ups online only!

NOTICE—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 Friday before the meeting until noon on the Monday prior to the scheduled Board meeting.

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.

Written Testimony

In advance of the meeting, please e-mail the testimony to boe@mcpsmd.org, fax it to 301-279-3860, or deliver to the Board of Education Office (850 Hungerford Drive, Suite 123, Rockville, MD 20850) and indicate the meeting during which you will be testifying.

If testimony is not provided in advance, speakers are requested to provide 20 copies of their written testimony for distribution to Board members, staff, and the press.

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

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