Less comment allowed

This change was made so quietly that I, attending every regular meeting, didn’t realize its scope, and at least one current school board member was completely unaware of the revision and thought it simply an oversight of the October agenda.

The change is significant because citizens attending school board meetings listen to hours of discussion, but are now restricted from public comment on any of it until the next board meeting, typically 30 days away. No provision exists for feedback after the first few minutes of each meeting, not even at the end. One month later citizens may offer new information or advice on items that may very well be put to a vote within the hour. And they are given only three minutes to address any number of topics.

The Board of Supervisors offers five minute opportunities for public comment at both the beginning and end of each meeting. I don’t believe the school board’s restriction of citizen input to one opportunity of only three minutes at the beginning of each meeting benefits our students, staff, or community. Please encourage your school board representative to reconsider this change and include more effective community involvement in its decision making process.

(Johnson is the co-president of the Fluvanna Education Association.)

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