By Tim Ashley
MILFORD – Some may not be aware school corporations were previously not required to allow public comments at school board meetings. As of this week, though, that will change as Gov. Eric Holcomb signed into law House Bill 1130.
The legislation requires school corporations to now allow public comments at board meetings, whether those meetings are held in person or virtually. The bill also places certain restrictions on when virtual meetings can be held, such as during a declared disaster emergency.
Local school corporations, though, have already allowed comments at board meetings so the new law will not change anything for those three corporations.
“Whitko has, and will continue to allow public comment at board meetings with a three-minute time limit,” said Dr. Timothy A. Pivarnik, superintendent of the Whitko Community School Corporation.
“Warsaw has always allowed public comment at our board meetings, so there will be no change,” said Dr. David Hoffert, superintendent of Warsaw Community Schools.
“The TVSC School Board and Administration has always welcomed comment during the designated time at public meetings,” said Dr. Blaine Conley, superintendent of the Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation.
State Attorney General Todd Rokita said in a news release, “Parents finally have the right to be heard. As we pointed out in the Parents’ Bill of Rights, it was not mandatory that school boards hear from parents at meetings. The legislators have now corrected this deficiency. There is still much more work to be done to ensure parents have the ability to raise their children according to Hoosier values.”