AUGUSTA — The Board of Education meets Wednesday to consider a final vote to alter its Board Relations with the Media Policy to allow all board members, not just the chairwoman, to speak to the media.

Last month board members unanimously approved the first reading of the proposed change with Wednesday’s scheduled vote the second reading required for passage.

The current policy adopted in 2011 prohibits board members from commenting or providing information to the media.

Board members agreed to alter the last paragraph of the policy, which currently states, “When individual board members receive requests from news media representatives for information or comment, they shall refer such inquiries to the board chair who shall be public spokesperson for the board.”

The proposed change would replace that paragraph with one stating the board chairperson is the designated spokesperson for the board, but adding that nothing in the policy prevents board members from speaking to the media and expressing their own opinions.

School officials said they reviewed the policy because they received an email from a community member expressing concerns about it.

Board members are scheduled to consider a final vote on the policy at their 7 p.m. meeting Wednesday in council chambers at Augusta City Center.

Board members are also scheduled to:

• consider a new policy on student automobile use;

• hear a presentation on student support from Cony Principal Kim Silsby, Reintegration Specialist Kristie Jernigan and School Resource Officer Carly Wiggins;

• discuss data from the Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey;

• swear in Brandon Gosselin as student representative to the board;

• consider staff resignations and additions;

• and consider approving a proposed trip to Germany and Austria next year for students taking German.


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