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Mankato Area Public Schools holds school board meetings with new rules

Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 10:59 PM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - After unruly school board meetings across the country and frustrations with local meetings, the Mankato Area Public School Board implemented new rules for their open forum meetings.

“Our meetings have been pretty raucous, and they responded to the new rules just fine,” School Board Chair Jodi Sapp said.

These new rules that were put in place include having each member state their name and address, speaking only on topics that were on the agenda, not applauding or grandstanding speeches and not addressing the board members directly.

After pushback from attendees, the address-giving portion was removed from the requirements for sharing points. Some parents attend or watch nearly every meeting, making sure their voice is heard on what they feel are important topics.

“For the investibility of our entire community in the long run because the whole infrastructure of Mankato is really driven by having a well-educated population and that really starts with Mankato Area Public Schools,” Mankato resident Beth Hanke stated.

Outside the meetings, MAPS has made a point to provide ways for the public to communicate with the school board outside the meeting by posting the contact numbers and emails of the school board members on their website.

“People should feel like they can help inform or at least share what their thoughts are about what is happening in the schools with our school board members,” commented Stacy Wells, director of communications at Mankato Area Public Schools.

Looking ahead, MAPS says they will be attempting to implement these rules with their future meetings to keep on topic and to address the needs of the children in the schools better.

“Some of the things that are happening are very political in nature, and so we are aware of that, and what we always want to focus on is what is best for the students of Mankato Area Public Schools,” Wells added.

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