An e mail sent April 30 to all USD 231 board members inquiring when the May 3 agenda would be available were not answered; and a follow up e mail sent to all board members May 3 regarding time line for patrons who wished to comment at the meeting also went unanswered.
The Gardner News sent the e mail at the request of district patrons who asked how they would know if they needed to address the board when the (then) posted agenda was just a basic outline.
The USD board requires all patrons wishing to address the board submit a card. Although board members did not respond to the newspaper’s emails, the agenda appeared online over the weekend.
If the agenda is published over the weekend, that restricts the time patrons would have to review the agenda and submit the necessary form to address the board. At press time, the online form site was not working.
In 2016, the board adopted a policy requiring patrons to submit a card and state their name, address, their children’s school affiliation and, if speaking for a group, the name of he group must be identified. In December the BOE updated the policy limiting comment time after about 60 patrons stood outside waiting to comment at the November meeting.
Patrons who decline to submit a card may be denied the right to speak.
Requirements were modified during COVID, but a May 3 e mail to the clerk went unanswered, and links on the district’s webpage appeared to be broken.
Although many governing entities require patrons to sign in, most do not appear to require prior notice: for example the Edgerton and Gardner city councils do not require prior notice.
Olathe’s school district does ask for a form, but according to the website, forms are available the evening of the meeting.
According to the Olathe district’s website, patrons are able to address the board in the Public Comments section of the regular board meeting. Patrons wishing to address the board are asked to contact the Clerk of the Board prior to noon on the day of the meeting giving their name, address, and subject to be addressed. Forms are available the evening of the board meeting and also on the Board Docs agenda:
www.olatheschools.org