The governing body of each school district in Oklahoma is its Board of Education. The general functions of the board are the powers and duties delegated by the State Legislature. The main function of the board is legislative. The board adopts policies for operation of the schools and is responsible for selecting administrators and personnel to execute and administer these policies. The Superintendent of Schools is the chief executive officer of the school district and takes an active role in setting the agenda and making recommendations.
The Board of Education holds regular meetings on the second Monday of each month at 6:00 p.m. with few exceptions. Special and emergency meetings may be called as the need arises. If there is a need for a special meeting, notification is given to the county clerk 48 hours prior to the meeting. Agendas are always available at least 24 hours prior to each meeting. Agendas for regular meetings are available on the Thursday preceding the Monday meeting.
All meetings are open in the sense that they are conducted before the public; however, they are not public hearings. Meetings of the Board are conducted for the purpose of carrying on the business of the school district. Except when the board enters into an executive session in accordance with Oklahoma state statutes, all regular and special meetings of the board will be open to the public.
SPEAKING PRIVILEGES OF THE PUBLIC
The Ponca City Public School Board of Education recognizes the value to school governance of public comment on educational issues and the importance of involving members of the public in board meetings. The board has established guidelines to govern public participation in board meetings necessary to conduct its meetings and to maintain order. Anyone who would like to speak to the board during public comment period of the meeting must check in with the board clerk at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the board meeting. There will be a form available they will need to fill out and return to the board clerk before they can be heard by the board. Individuals or groups wishing to speak during the public comment period must provide the following information, in writing, in order to speak before the board:
· Name and address of the individual;
· The agenda action item(s) the individual wishes to address;
· The organization the individual represents or is affiliated with, if applicable.
Participants must be recognized by the president or other presiding officer and must preface their comments by an announcement of their name and group affiliation, if applicable.
Comments of the speaker must relate to an item on the meeting agenda. Generally, participants shall be limited to comment of a maximum of three (3) minutes duration unless altered by the presiding officer, with the approval of the board. All public comments during any one regular meeting shall be limited to no more than fifteen (15) minutes. No participant may speak more than once during a single meeting. All statements shall be directed to the presiding officer; no participant may address or question board members individually.
For more information regarding Speaking Privileges of the Public, please refer to Board Policy 2.4 Speaking Privileges of the Public, that is available at the board meeting, or in the board policy manual located on the district website under Board of Education.
Emergency meetings of the Board are extremely rare, and state statute limits the topics to be discussed to only those arising from the emergency. The Board President must exercise extreme care not to allow unrelated topics to come before the Board during emergency meetings. Therefore, public comments at emergency meetings may necessarily be curtailed.