The Harford County Board of Education has spent the last two years shooting down school board elections, but now the Board is considering changes to its internal procedures so that board leadership will be determined by – you guessed it – elections.
The proposed change in board policy is on the agenda for tonight’s meeting. If it’s approved, the Board will abandon the current practice of rotating the board presidency and vice-presidency based on seniority, and elect their leaders instead.
Funny, the Board has been telling the public that elections are the wrong way to select school leaders. In fact, Board member Mark Wolkow has waged a vigorous campaign against elections, arguing that appointed board members provide the best possible leadership. So anyone the Governor appoints is good enough for the public, but not good enough for the Board? Sounds like a classic case of do as I say, not as I do.
The proposed policy would also allow new board members to run for president after one year of service and for vice-president after six months. And past board presidents would no longer have to wait for all the other members to have a turn before running for a second term.
It will be interesting to see how board members vote on the proposal. It’s possible that some members may oppose the shift away from leadership based on seniority, especially if they happen to be next in line. But the idea must have some support on the Board, or it wouldn’t be on the agenda in the first place. Maybe a new board member is looking for a fast track to leadership, or a past president wants another shot at running the show.
We’ll know soon enough. If the policy change is approved tonight, the Board will hold their elections in April. Right around the same time the Maryland General Assembly will let the voters of Harford County know if we can hold school board elections of our own.