A parent in Chicago wrote to explain how difficult it is for parents or anyone else to speak at a “public” hearing.

A true grassroots parent group in Chicago, 19th Ward Parents, attend every monthly meeting of the Board of Ed at CPS.
One of our parents was ejected by security because she dared to ask when public participation would be permitted.
It was already difficult to speak at a BoE meeting. But it has become more difficult since Emanuel has been mayor, and the Board pushed the public participation to the very end of the meeting.

For example, individuals can speak to the Board only every other month. 

Speakers have only 2 minutes.

You must get up very early to sign in.

CPS works closely with Stand for Children, who recruited speakers in support of the longer day. CPS staff got up early to stand in line for the Stand speakers, who arrived at a more reasonable time. 

One of them got his information wrong, however. He said he was in favor fo a 6.5 hour day, which is also 19th ward parents opinion. When a reporter, Roz Rossi of the Sun Times, asked him if he realized that CPS wanted a 7.5 hour day, he changed his story and replied that is what he wanted to.

The room is very small. There are not many seats. Many CPS staff and consultants walk past the line and take many of the seats, forcing parents who have gotten up early and stood in line for hours to stand outside the chamber in the hope that someone will leave.

It is a degrading system. I have written three times asking them to change it.

I have never received the courtesy of a reply.