Loudoun County School Board changes guidelines for public participation

Virginia

LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — After months of controversy surrounding meetings, the Loudoun County School Board is updating its guidelines for public participation.

Those who want to participate in public comment must now meet certain criteria, according to a press release:

  1. They must be residents of Loudoun County (including its incorporated towns)
  2. Owners of businesses located in whole or part in Loudoun County
  3. LCPS students
  4. Parents and guardians of LCPS students that live outside of Loudoun County
  5. LCPS employees.

Those who wish to speak to the school board must also provide proof of the criteria listed:

A valid Virginia driver’s license indicating Loudoun County residency:
• A utility bill from 2021 with the resident’s name and a Loudoun County address
• A mortgage or rental lease agreement displaying the resident’s name and current street address of residency or business
• A current Employee ID or Student ID
• An email or letter from Loudoun County Public Schools to the parent from the 2021-22 school year regarding a currently enrolled LCPS student
• A student report card or progress report

The Loudoun County School Board released a statement saying the new practices will not impact or limit those who wish to speak.

“The School Board is making these changes in order to ensure that the voices of our parents and the LCPS community are heard rather than out-of-town agitators who would make Board meetings a platform for national politics or to enhance their own media profiles…An informal survey of our neighboring jurisdictions shows that Loudoun County School Board is one of the few governmental bodies that has minimal restrictions on speakers. Even with these changes, the School Board has some of the most open public comment practices in our region.”

School Board Chair Brenda L. Sheridan

The order of virtual and in-person public comments will alternate every meeting.

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