Inform, Entertain, Inspire
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

School boards forced to allow public comment under House bill

(Bárbara Anguiano/IPB News)
Local school boards in Indiana would be required to provide at least three minutes per person of public comment under a House bill.

Listen to the broadcast version of this story.

Local school boards will be forced to take public comment by a bill approved by an Indiana House committee Wednesday.

The measure, HB 1130, requires at least three minutes per person of public testimony at every in-person meeting. That's more time than committee chairs at the General Assembly sometimes allow for particularly busy hearings.

The original bill would have required public comment at meetings of the governing body of any state or local public agency, like city and county councils.

READ MORE: As groups organize against social emotional learning in schools, educators call for civility

Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana Two-Way. Text "Indiana" to 73224. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on statewide issues.

But a change in committee limited the bill to just school board meetings. Bill author Rep. Tim O’Brien (R-Evansville) said it’s good public policy.

“This allows for the school board to take reasonable steps to maintain order in their meetings, including the removal of any person who is willfully disruptive in the meeting,” O'Brien said.

Contentious school board meetings over the last year saw some boards limit or restrict public comments.

No one from the public testified on the bill. It passed unanimously, now heading to the full House.

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

Copyright 2022 Indiana Public Media. To see more, visit .

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.