Policy BEE: Procedures for Conducting Hearings and Public Forums

In conducting all public hearings required by law, and other public forums on specific topics as it deems advisable, the School Committee will:

  1. Give due and public notice in line with statutory requirements and seek to publicize the meeting in all local media.

  2. Make available printed information on the topic of the hearing when appropriate.

  3. Give all persons an equal opportunity to be heard in accordance with the Committee’s policy.
     

The Chair of the Committee will preside at the hearing. A quorum of the School Committee will be in attendance. A hearing or public forum may be scheduled as a special School Committee meeting or as part of a regular School Committee meeting.

The public will be informed at the beginning of the hearing of the particular procedure that will be followed in regard to questions, comments, and any time limitations or other rules that must be followed to.

In conformance with customary hearing procedures, statements and supporting information will be presented first by the Committee, or by others for the Committee; to comment, citizens must be recognized by the Chair, and all questions and comments must be addressed to the Chair and be germane to the topic. The Chair will recognize persons who have not commented previously during the hearing before recognizing persons who wish to speak a second time.

Annual Budget Hearing:

The School Committee recognizes its duty and legal obligation to hold an annual budget hearing (see policy BEEA). The annual budget hearing may be included as part of a regular School Committee meeting or held separately as a special meeting of the School Committee as determined by the School Committee.

Notice of the budget hearing, including date, time, and place, as well as the places where copies of the budget will be available for examination by interested citizens, will be publicized at least 7 days in advance through regular publicity channels, including newspapers and district websites.

Public Forums:

At its discretion, the School Committee may schedule public forums for broader dialogue with the community on one specific issue or for the purpose of receiving extended public comment on topics of high public interest or concern.

Notice of the public forum, including date, time, and place shall be publicized in advance through regular publicity channels, including newspapers and district websites.

LEGAL REF:

MGL 30A:18 , 30A:20, 30A:21, 30A:22 , 71:38N , 603 CMR 41.05

Region Voted to Approve: 12/2/08
Amherst Voted to Approve: 12/2/08
Pelham Voted to Approve: 12/4/08
Effective Date: 12/4/08
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