File: BEDD


    The School Committee shall observe Robert’s Rules of Order except that the Chair may discuss and have a vote on all matters before the School Committee, or except as otherwise provided by law.

    No motion is necessary to bring an agenda item to the floor for discussion. Motions germane to the agenda item under discussion may be made at any time. However, the Chair may rule such motions out of order if he/she feels that there has been insufficient discussion of the agenda item. A member may appeal such a ruling.

    The Chair may not make motions, but may participate in all discussions. However, s/he shall speak only after all other members of Committee unless there is consensus allowing the Chair to speak earlier. Also, when the Chair is taking part in discussions—except to summarize discussion immediately preceding a vote— the Vice-Chair shall assume Co-Chair status.

    In all School Committee proceedings, members shall endeavor to conduct themselves in a courteous and respectful way toward other members, staff, and the public. Members may address each other directly, however, personal attacks are out of order. The Chair may interrupt a person making such an attack to advise them so. If the attack continues, the Chair may take the floor from the offender. If the Chair does not note the attack, any member may raise a Point of Personal Privilege.

    When the Chair feels that discussion on a matter is complete, or believes that time for discussion has passed, s/he may summarize discussion, and then entertain or call for a motion from the floor. Before any vote is taken, any member of the Committee who has not spoken on the agenda item, and who wishes to be heard, shall be given the floor. The Chair shall also make every reasonable effort to hear members of the public who are in the audience before a vote is taken. In all cases, the Superintendent of Schools and the Assistant Superintendent of Schools shall be heard as required by law and as requested by the Committee before any vote is taken.

    If the Chair feels the Committee is of unanimous opinion on an issue, and a vote is not required by law or School Committee policy, then s/he may ask simply for “consensus.” If all members agree, this “consensus” will be recorded in the minutes, and shall be considered as a School Committee action, no less binding than other School Committee actions. The School Committee may not use "consensus,” but must vote on, the Election of Officers, change in the Policy Manual, Approval of the Annual Budget, Appointments of Personnel, and Approval of Collective Bargaining agreements.

    Cross Refs.:BEDDE, Appeal

    BEDDF, Point of Personal Privilege

    BEDH, Public Participation at School Committee Meetings

    Revised:June 22, 2011