State Senator Stacey Donato said in a recent release, “Locally elected school boards make many important decisions that affect the quality of our K-12 schools in communities across Indiana, but over the past few years, some parents have expressed increasing concern regarding the lack of opportunities for public input at school board meetings.”

Senator Donato continued, “In response to these concerns, this session I supported Senate Enrolled Act 83 and House Enrolled Act 1130. These new laws require school boards to allow comments from individuals who are physically present during in-person meetings. They also specify the comment period must occur before the school board takes final action on a topic.”

These new laws also preserve a school board’s ability to run their meetings effectively by ensuring they can still maintain decorum and set time limits in order to complete their business in a timely manner.

Additionally, fully virtual meetings will only be allowed during a disaster emergency where there is an imminent health risk and at least one school under the board’s jurisdiction is closed at the time of the meeting.

Senator Donato closed her comments by saying, “Democracy works when there is an open line of communication and everyone is actively engaged. These measures will ensure the public has full access to their elected school officials and will provide an avenue for citizens to express their thoughts in a way that works for everyone.”