board room

Board of Education

Public Participation

Ways to Participate

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, 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, including being posted on the Board's website and through a release to the news media.

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, unless otherwise specified by the Board in the hearing notice.

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 employee associations.)
  • 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 submit their testimony electronically to the Board of Education Office at least 24 hours in advance of the hearing. If the testimony is not provided in advance, speakers are requested to provide 20 copies of their statement at the hearing, for distribution to the Board, staff, and press. Public hearings are recorded, televised, and transmitted via webcast.  

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: In light of the current state of emergency declared by Maryland Governor Hogan, regular business meetings will be used solely to conduct essential and time sensitive business. 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 Friday before the meeting until 9:00 a.m. on the Monday 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.