School boards intent on imposing Critical Race Theory on students, and unwilling to allow opponents to speak or vote against their actions, have used control of the school board agenda to prevent opponents from commenting on such issues or introducing discussion of them. Parents and other citizens must have the right to comment on school board agenda items and to introduce new items into school board agendas.
Our model School Board Agenda Act, drawn from Louisiana House Bill 984 (2022), provides a set and easy procedure for members of the public to comment on all agenda matters, and to add new items to a school board’s agenda.
Model Legislative Text
- Each school board shall allow public comment at any meeting of the school board prior to taking any vote, subject to reasonable rules, regulations, and restrictions as adopted by the school board.
- The comment period shall be for each agenda item and shall precede each agenda item. A comment period for all comments at the beginning of a meeting shall not suffice to meet the requirements of Subsection (1).
- Each school shall provide for a general public comment period during at least one meeting of the school board each month that shall not be limited to specific items on the agenda for that meeting.
- If at least fifteen residents of the school system file a written request with the president of the school board for a specific item to be included on the agenda of a meeting of the school board, the president shall include the item on an agenda for a meeting of the school board held within sixty days of receipt of the fifteenth written request for the specific agenda item.
If any provision of this chapter, or the application of any provision to any person or circumstance, is held to be invalid, the remainder of this chapter and the application of its provisions to any other person or circumstance shall not be affected thereby.
Louisiana House Bill 984 (2022)
The National Association of Scholars, in consultation with other supporters and friends of the Civics Alliance, drafted these model bills to translate into legislative language the principles in the Civics Alliance’s Civics Curriculum Statement & Open Letter. Just as these bills have been drafted with the expectation that different states will modify them as they see fit, they also have been drafted with the expectation that not every supporter of the Civics Alliance will endorse these bills or every part of them. Individual Civics Alliance signatories and supporters should not be assumed to have endorsed these bills, unless they say so explicitly.