Looking for an easy win, CPS has responded to long-running complaints about the ridiculous speaker sign-up process for monthly Board meetings with a new plan of action that will allow advance sign-up, online and by phone. As of this moment Monday evening, there are 23 of 30 spots left. You also have to sign up to attend Board meetings.
Chicago Board of Education Institutes More Convenient Registration System for Public Participation at Board Meetings
New process will provide advance sign-up, relieving public of having to wait in line for hours the day of the meeting
CHICAGO – To promote ease and convenience for members of the public who wish to speak or attend Chicago Board of Education meetings, registration for public participation for Board meetings begins a phased-in change starting today.
Traditionally, those wishing to sign up to speak had to do so in person on the day of the Board meetings between 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. This often required getting to Board headquarters at 125 S. Clark St. and waiting in line for hours prior to sign-up starting. The new system will allow for the public to register in advance of the Board meeting and ultimately eliminate same-day sign up. The Board will transition to the new process over the next two months. Advance registration for next week’s Board meeting of November 14 began today and will also allow for same day sign-up as part of this transitionary period.
“We have listened to the public’s concerns about having to come down early in the morning and spending hours in line,” said Chicago Board of Education President David Vitale. “We have developed a new process with the needs of the public in mind.” At each of the past three Board of Education meetings, President Vitale communicated that public participation sign-up would be transitioning to a new system.
The transition to this new system will also apply to the December 19 meeting, where both advance and same-day sign-up will continue in order to give people time to adjust to the change. The new advance registration process expands the options for persons wishing to attend Board meetings by providing online access through the www.cpsboe.org link, via telephone at (773) 553-1600 and in person at the Board office, 125 S. Clark St., 6th floor. For the November Board meeting, advance registration, which opened today at 8 a.m., will end at 5 p.m. on Friday, November 9. This gives people who wish to sign up greater flexibility and access to do so. The goal is to remain flexible and with the public’s needs in mind during the two-month transition.
Beginning in January, all registration for public participation will take place during the week prior to the Board meeting online, over the phone or in person in the Board office during the registration period. Same-day registration for public participation will not be offered beginning in January.
Anyone registering to speak will need to show a photo ID that matches the name of the registrant in order to obtain a pass to the Board chamber, similar to current practice.
The Board Office handed out fliers describing the change to everyone who attended the October meeting, mailed notification to everyone who signed up to speak at meetings in the past eight months and plans to further communicate the change through schools, community organizations, aldermanic offices and via the www.cpsboe.org web site.
“We are excited to offer these options for Chicago Board of Education meetings as a way to provide better access to the public,” Vitale said. “We welcome feedback once we launch the phase-in process and will value all additional input that is offered.”
The Chicago Public Schools serves 403,000 students in 681 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school system.