For various reasons, it took me until today to pin down the attorney general’s response, and then all day to update here:
At Wednesday’s CPS board meeting, some folks said they were turned away from attending the meeting because they hadn’t signed up ahead of time — and the usual overflow room wasn’t going to be open.
CPS spokesman Dave Miranda told me that only a small number of observers registered online, so the district didn’t expect it would need the usual overflow space. It was opened by the meeting’s start, but by that time many folks who were turned away had already gone home.
Natalie Bauer, a spokeswoman for Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, said her office had not received any complaints about the meeting but was reviewing the facts of what happened to see if the Open Meetings Act could have been violated.
“Some of the circumstances raise a number of questions,” she said. “I can definitively say that no one should be turned away for failure to register for advance if there is space in the room.”
CPS did release a statement late Wednesday saying they were sorry they hadn’t made meeting guidelines clearer and have since done so to show that the public is not “required” to sign up in order to get into the meeting.
Becky Carroll: “Our goal is to ensure the safety and accommodate the needs of all attending our monthly Board of Education meetings. That is why we are requesting, but not requiring, that members of the public planning to attend these meetings to register in advance so we can best prepare to accommodate all visitors on those days. Any member of the public who wishes to attend the Board meeting can do so without registering in advance given that there is adequate space in Board chambers and its overflow room.”
Sort of related: Public speakers didn’t take up the two hours allotted for them for various reasons:
At about one-hour mark, I note lots of speaker spots were reserved by no-shows. Lots of causes were compressed to only 2 speakers.— Lauren FitzPatrick (@bylaurenfitz) August 28, 2013
Hour left in public participation, according to guidelines.— Lauren FitzPatrick (@bylaurenfitz) August 28, 2013