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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 the Board of Education Administrator Kathy Hanks (khanks@hcpss.org) 48 hours prior to the Board meeting. 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. The list of registrants will be provided instructions from the Board Administrator on how to read their comments during a Board meeting.

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 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 personnel 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 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 48 hours prior to the meeting. 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 an electronic version of their testimony to khanks@hcpss.org 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

Community members wishing to testify at public hearings must pre-register via online form. Registration opens three weeks prior to a hearing.

Thursday, November 5, 2020 – 7 p.m.

A complete list of public 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.