Austin ISD Has New Rules For Public Comment At School Board Meetings

Sep 20, 2019

The Austin Independent School District has revised its rules for public comment at school board meetings, reducing the time people are allowed to speak but removing the cap on the number of people allowed to speak on an agenda item. 

Previously, only 30 people were allowed to speak during public comment at AISD board meetings, but a law passed in the last legislative session mandates allowing people who want to speak to speak.

Here's how public comment will work: 

General Public Comment 

Ten people will be allowed to speak about any subject not on the agenda for one minute each during this period. Five people will be allowed on a waiting list if one of the 10 doesn't show up. 

People can sign up for general public comment the day of the meeting, between 7:45 a.m. and 3 p.m. Residents can call 512-414-4411 or sign up in person at the district's main office at 1111 W. Sixth St. Starting in November, the AISD's main office will be at 4000 S. IH 35 Frontage Road.

Public Testimony

An unlimited number of people will be allowed to speak for one minute each, as long as they are speaking about something on the agenda that the board is voting on or discussing with a potential for a vote. For example, if the board isn't discussing or taking action on the school changes process, people will not be able to speak about it during public testimony. 

People can sign up for public testimony the day of the meeting, between 7:45 a.m. and 3 p.m. Residents can call 512-414-4411 or sign up in person at the district's main office at 1111 W. Sixth St. Starting in November, the AISD's main office will be at 4000 S. IH 35 Frontage Road.

Residents can also sign up online through Board Docs.

Board meetings usually take place on Monday evenings. The agenda is posted 72 hours in advance, so usually by Friday afternoons. View agendas here.

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