FPS: No plans to change public comment portion of School Board meetings

Photo by: Fargo Public School District
Photo by: Fargo Public School District

(Fargo, ND) -- Recent concerns about the future of public comments being allowed at Fargo School Board meetings are being addressed.

Several parents recently reached out to WDAY radio with concerns after a recent Governance meeting brought up possible changes to school board policy GP-2E, which covers governing style of the board.

The concern, at least outlined by the parents who reached out to us, was that the public comment portion of the bi-weekly school board meetings could be in jeopardy of being removed.

We at WDAY Radio reached out to the Fargo Public Schools for comment, and were told to this point there has been no talks of changes to allowing public comments during school board meetings, but there is a possibility that part of the response process may change involving it.

The District tells us that more discussion is expected on school board members giving written responses to direct requests for comments on issues from the public during the public comment portion of the school board meetings. Also, the Governance committee within the Fargo School Board is set to further discuss the possibility of nixing the thank you letters sent out to each person who issues public comments during the meetings.

During the previous Governance meeting, school board member Jim Johnson noted that he feels the required written response language in current policy has become a bit cumbersome, and that a change may need to be discussed, along with simply issuing a 'thank you' by the board President directly after a member of the community speaks to the board rather than sending an individual letter every time. All involved in the Governance committee noted taking the public comment portion of the normal school board meetings away is not on the table.

The next Governance meeting to discuss possible changes to the GP-2E policy will be held on November 21st. The committee must approve adding the topic of changes to the following school board meeting's agenda for discussion, and cannot enact changes without presentation and discussion among all board members.