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Legislation to require public comment at school board meetings nears finish line

Ethan Burks/WFIU, WTIU
Margaret Menge was escorted out of the MCCSC co-lab building by a school resource officer after she refused to wear a mask at school board meeting last August.

Legislation to force school boards to give the public a chance to comment at their meetings is nearing the finish line.

Language in SB 83 unanimously approved by the House Monday is very simple: any public or charter school board must allow “oral public comment” on any agenda item at its meetings.

And Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) said the comment must come before or during the board’s discussion of that agenda item.

“There are some school boards where they’ll take public action and then allow the public to testify, which really kind of negates any ability for them to have any thoughts at all,” Behning said.

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There’s a similar bill, HB 1130, making its way through the Senate. The two chambers have a couple weeks left this session to decide which version they’ll advance to the governor.

Contact reporter Brandon at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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