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Public Participation in the Meetings of the Board of Education

Jump to: Public Forum | Public Hearings

Please be aware of Howard County Board of Education Policy 2040, Public Participation in Meetings, effective July 1, 2016. Residents are reminded that written testimony, including identifying information, is considered public information and, as such, is subject to the Maryland Public Information Act.

Please contact the Board of Education Office at 410-313-7194 with any questions or concerns.

Public Forum

Speaking at Public Forum

Public Forum during Board of Education meetings follows a modified procedure during COVID-related closures. Community members may sign up for a public forum by emailing their written comments to Board of Education Administrator Kathy Hanks (khanks@hcpss.org). Registration will be on a first-come, first-serve basis by emails received. The first 10 emails received will be registered; five for the afternoon session and five for the evening session. Written comments should be kept to a three-minute time limit and will be read aloud during the meeting. The list of registrants and comments will be read in the order received and posted online in BoardDocs.

Registration begins three weeks prior to the date of the meeting. Emails to register must be received by close of business two days prior to the Board meeting. The list of registrants and comments will be read in the order received and posted online in BoardDocs. Registrants will receive a written response. All persons are expected to exhibit civil behavior regarding their comments in accordance with Policy 1000 Civility.

Topics excluded from Public Forum are:
  • Individual personal issues
  • Complaints identifying individual students
  • Matters that are on appeal
  • Topics for which the Board schedules formal public hearings
  • Advertising or solicitation for products and/or services

Public Forum Written Comments

All written comments submitted during Public Forum will be uploaded into BoardDocs. No personal information will be removed. It is recommended that comments submitted contain only include the constituent’s name. Comments submitted are a part of the public record maintained by the Board Office.

Public Hearings

Public Hearing Pre-Registration Disclosure

Individuals who do not pre-register may sign up at the time of the Public Hearing, and will testify in order of signatures after those who pre-registered.

Public Hearing Pre-Registration and Testimony

All public hearings during the COVID-related closures will be conducted virtually. At this time, community members wishing to testify at public hearings must pre-register via online form. An email address is required in order for the community member to participate and provide testimony during a public hearing. Specific directions will be emailed to each registrant prior to the public hearing.

Testimony during the public hearing, including any visual or audio presentations, will be limited to three (3) minutes. The Board expects that any testimony, including visual or audio presentations, be delivered with the decorum and respect appropriate to the conduct of the public’s business.

Speakers are requested to provide twelve (12) copies of their testimony for distribution to Board members and staff at the hearing. Written testimony will be posted to the appropriate part of the online agenda following the meeting as it is part of the public record maintained by the Board Office. Testimony will not be edited before posting online—no personal information will be removed. It is recommended that written testimony submitted at the public hearing only include the constituent’s name.

Upcoming Hearings

At this time, community members wishing to testify at public hearings must pre-register via online form. Registration opens three weeks prior to a hearing.

A complete list of upcoming hearings can be found on BoardDocs.

Public Hearing Written Testimony submitted via email or USPS mail

Individuals may also submit written testimony via USPS mail (Board of Education, 10910 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City, MD 21042) or emailed to boe@hcpss.org. All testimony is part of the public record maintained by the Board Office. All testimony submitted for public hearings via email or regular mail will be uploaded as submitted to BoardDocs. Written testimony will not be edited before posting online—no personal information will be removed. It is recommended that written testimony submitted only include the constituent’s name.

It is highly recommended that testimony sent via email be submitted as an attachment with only the constituent’s name included. Only the attachment will be posted online. If testimony is submitted in the text of an email, the entire email—including the constituent’s email address—will be posted.