Austin school board delegation procedures may change

By Karen Colbenson

The number of community members requesting time to address Austin’s school board has dramatically increased over the last six months, causing a need for additional time and options for voices to be heard.

Since about half the seats on the board were turned over in the November election, there has been 17 official delegations during regular board meetings. Only about five delegations to the former board took place over the previous four years.

Over the past few months, board members have discussed possible options to accommodate all the delegations, and will consider approving new procedures at the school board meeting today.


Although community members will still have the option of addressing the board during the regular meetings, board members have considered offering "On the Road" meetings again, as well as allotting time before meetings for those who do not feel comfortable approaching the board during the meeting.

Superintendent Candace Raskin suggested the board try the informal monthly "On the Road" meetings again to "extend out and get into the community."

The meetings offer an opportunity for parents and community members to talk with board members at the schools and on Saturdays at Coffee House on Main. The sessions were discontinued last spring because of low public attendance.

"I agree it wasn’t overly successful, but if we’re going to reach out as much as possible, that would be a way of doing it," said board member Dave Simonson.

In an effort to increase communication with the public, board members also have discussed allowing delegations during board work sessions.

At today’s meeting, board members also will consider approving bids for the concession stand/restroom project at Wescott Athletic Complex and the district’s long-range strategic plan, which administrators have been working on since last year.

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