On April 5, the Miami-Dade School Board meeting started the public hearing at 9:30 p.m., violating its own policy of starting hearings no later than about 6:30 p.m. Public speakers were left on hold not knowing when they would speak.
Compounding the issue, a nearby vending machine with snacks have been removed. Speakers waiting until an undetermined time to speak — without food — is unconscionable.
Several agenda items were brought after the designated time, but the message was clear: Citizen input at board meetings is discouraged — bring your own dinner from now on.
I was unable to help with my child’s homework because I decided to wait to speak about something that I knew was important — the school system’s “Values matter” for April.
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I urge the public to ask questions and get answers as to why citizens who care enough to sign up for public hearings are being treated with such disrespect.
The public schools belong to the public — although it certainly doesn't seem that way.