Annapolis, MD – Senator Barry Glassman met with Harford County Student Council Representatives recently to discuss their desire for limited voting rights for the student representative on the Harford County Board of Education. The students have used Howard County as a model and would be given votes on policy except for redistricting, contracts, transportation, disciplinary matters and budgetary matters.
Delegate B. Daniel Riley has submitted a House Bill and the legislation is currently being reviewed by the House and Senate Delegations.
This is an initiative that has been coming for many years now and this is the closest we have ever been. The bill is HB 987. Contact your representative about it! It is a great and wonderful thing for the students of the county. As of now Harford County is in the minority without a vote, two-thirds of the students in the state of Maryland have a voting student member on their Board of Education. Even the State Board of Education has a voting student member. The idea of full voting rights is not being asked or pushed, only partial voting rights. The idea for the students to vote on the things that directly affect them only seems practical and most beneficial. A voting student member will not be a deciding factor in deliberations only another mind and another view point. This is truly a movement of the students, by the students, for the students.
Trying not to be a cynic here but is there a pattern on the Board of Education to exclude the public from public education?
Harford County is in the minority with the Student Board of Education and with an appointed Board. Interestingly, the current Board of Education was and is one of the main obstacles to the elected board and has lobbied diligently to maintain the status quo. What are they afraid of anyway that the “ignorant masses” might have a say?
As a student who as been involved in student government since middle school, I have seen the many changes that have taken place in Howard County, including the bill that was passed to give our own SMOB full voting rights.
The past 2 members have not abused this privilege and I think that the Hartford County SMOB should be allowed to have half voting rights, especially since many counties already have such rights. What good is a student member if he/she cannot actually represent the student voice by voting?
i think it’s an idea whose time has come. The students should have a vote on what impacts them while in school. It must be difficult at times to be involved in a process but when you get a chance to leave your mark you are not allowed a full vote. I hope our elected officials get their heads out of the milk jug and hands out of the cookie jars and support this action. Congratulations to all the students who worked on this bill you must be very proud of yourselves.
Vote YES on HB 987 !
We..l it looks like the County delegation will not support the student voting member to the board of Education. I found and read a copy of SB629 elected School board Members in Harford County. it state very plainly that the do not intend nor want a student voting.
From SB 629:
(G) (1) THE NONVOTING STUDENT MEMBER OF THE COUNTY BOARD
SHALL BE ELECTED BY THE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS OF THE COUNTY IN
ACCORDANCE WITH PROCEDURES ESTABLISHED BY THE HARFORD COUNTY
PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM.
(2) THE STUDENT MEMBER SHALL:
(I) BE AN ELEVENTH OR TWELFTH GRADE STUDENT, IN
GOOD STANDING, AND REGULARLY ENROLLED IN THE HARFORD COUNTY
PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM;
(II) BE A STUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION
REPRESENTATIVE AT THE STUDENT’S HIGH SCHOOL;
(III) SERVE FOR 1 YEAR BEGINNING ON JULY 1 AFTER THE
ELECTION OF THE MEMBER;
(IV) BE A NONVOTING MEMBER; AND
(V) ADVISE THE COUNTY BOARD ON THE THOUGHTS AND
FEELINGS OF STUDENTS IN THE HARFORD COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
(3) UNLESS INVITED TO ATTEND BY AN AFFIRMATIVE VOTE OF A
MAJORITY OF THE COUNTY BOARD, THE STUDENT MEMBER MAY NOT ATTEND AN
EXECUTIVE SESSION OF THE COUNTY BOARD.
Here is a link to SB 629
Here is the link for HB639
Not necessarily Tony. The language you cite from the elected school board bill is copied from existing law, as is should be. To do otherwise would combine the two bills (elected school board and student vote), when they are separate efforts.
I do think there is support among our state legislators for the student vote, although I don’t think it’s unanimous and the BOE is split.
The student rep on the Board provides a needed perspective, many of them ask thoughtful, intelligent questions and as a group, students are trying to become MORE involved in their public schools. They deserve our support.
As a former Student Member of a county Board of Education, I strongly support student voting rights and thus support this bill. Even the smallest voting rights matter in this case. Partial voting rights is a crucial stepping stone for all county SMOBs that want to persue this endeavor. The right to a vote that represents the student voice and opinion that can potentially impact policy is vital. I am proud of Harford County students for pressing this issue and being persistent in getting voting rights. There’s nothing worst than just sitting and watching fellow Board Members vote one by one and pass you by. Ultimately the vote is what counts when it comes to determining policy. The students need to be able to voice their opinion and further back it up with a vote. Congratulations again to the Harford County student government delegates for taking on this tremendous task.