The Harford County Board of Education serves nearly 40,000 of the county’s youngest citizens, managing of one of the largest public school systems in the nation. Board members hire the superintendent, set local education policy and establish local curriculum, among other duties. In dollar terms, each year the Harford School Board oversees nearly half a billion dollars in operating funds and millions more for school facilities. Now, for the first time in Harford County, some members of the school board will also be elected by the public they serve.
State legislation passed in 2009 with unanimous support from the Harford Delegation will expand the Harford School Board to nine members, and create a blended board comprised of one elected member from each of the six councilmanic districts and three members appointed at-large.
Blended school boards are rare, and this one was an effort at compromise between the popular support for school board elections and the small, but powerful group of opponents who wanted to keep a fully appointed board. That, along with the usual complications that come with any transition, makes the process worthy of an overview.
The following FAQ’s are offered as a guide through the transition that is about to begin, combined with an unabashed call for good candidates to run for the elected positions.
How were the current school board members selected?
The Governor of Maryland appointed all seven members of the Harford County Board of Education. Board members represent different geographic areas of the county, but they do not have to live in the district they represent.
When will the change to the new blended board begin?
Sometime in 2010, Governor Martin O’Malley is expected to make two appointments to the school board, expanding the board to nine members.
Sometime between now and 90 days after the November, 2010 election, the Governor will make a third appointment to fill the expiring term of one current board member.
Combined, these actions will create the three appointed positions on the blended board. The three newly appointed members will begin their four-year terms on July 1, 2011.
When do elections begin?
This fall, the first set of school board elections will be held for three of the six Harford councilmanic districts: District A (Edgewood/Joppa), District B (Fallston/Abingdon) and District D (North Harford).
Candidates must live in the district they represent and they will be elected by the residents of that district only. Elected terms are also for four years.
Elections in the remaining districts, District C (Bel Air), E (Aberdeen), and F (Havre de Grace) begin in 2014.
School board elections are nonpartisan by state law, so unlike most elections, federal employees are generally eligible to run for the school board.
Teachers and other HCPS employees cannot run for the board until they are retired or employed elsewhere.
Board members are expected to support public education, but it’s not necessary for board candidates to have children in public school. Effective board members come from all walks of life; retirees, educators, business people, professionals, PTA members, community activists – anyone with a true interest in education, an open mind and good decision-making skills can make a solid candidate.
Training is provided for school board members and board members are generally reimbursed $3,600 per year for board-related expenses.
Elected school board members in Maryland are usually paid a salary, but not yet in Harford County. Advocates for school board elections (myself included) will be back next legislative session and for as long as it takes, fighting for school board members to be paid to do what is arguably one of the most important jobs in the county. But board service is not a road to riches. Compensation in the largest Maryland counties ranges from around $10,000 to $20,000 per year.
Nationally, school board campaigns are typically low key and low cost. PTA and other community meetings; social networking sites like Facebook; and coverage from local media like The Dagger, can all connect the candidates to the public.
School board candidates must be registered to vote in the county for 3 years prior to the term of office, and meet the general requirements for political office. More information can be found here on the board of elections Web site.
The deadline to file as a candidate for the November election is July 6, 2010 at 9 p.m. All candidates will be on the ballot in the primary. Voters who are unaffiliated with a political party will be allowed to vote in the September 14 primary for school board members only.
The top two vote-getters in the primary will face off on November 2 in the general election.
The newly elected members will also have plenty of time to get up to speed on school board matters – they, along with the newly appointed board members, will not be seated until July 1, 2011. At that time, the nine-member board will consist of three elected members, and six appointed members.
The blended board legislation doesn’t precisely name the first three board members whose seats will become elected, nor does it name the one board member whose seat will remain appointed. But a clarifying opinion from the Maryland Attorney General combined with the language of the legislation indicate that the board members elected in 2010 will fill seats currently held by John Smilko of Joppatowne, Tom Evans of Fallston, and either Robin Rich of North Harford or Mark Wolkow of Abingdon. The choice between Rich and Wolkow is, by law, up to the Governor.
The AG opinion also indicates that the seat currently held by Board Member Don Osman of Havre de Grace will become one of the three appointed seats on the blended board. Osman is eligible to be reappointed, as are Tom Evans and John Smilko, although Smilko has indicated he will not return to the board.
Fast Forward to 2014:
After the changes in 2011, the composition of the board will remain unchanged until 2014, when elections will be held in the three remaining councilmanic districts to fill the expiring terms of three more members from the original, fully appointed board – Leonard Wheeler of Forest Hill (representing Aberdeen); Alysson Krchnavy of Bel Air; and either Robin Rich or Mark Wolkow, depending on the Governor’s earlier decision.
Also in 2014, the terms of the first elected members from back in 2010 will be up and elections in those districts will be held again. Elections will be held every four years thereafter in all six Harford councilmanic districts.
The three appointed members will also continue to be appointed by the Governor and serve on the same four-year cycle as elected members. Appointed school board members are intended by law to ensure gender, ethnic and racial diversity.
Finally, on July 1, 2015 the new nine-member board will be seated and the transition will be complete, with three members appointed by the Governor and six members elected in-district.
A Potential Glitch:
Sometimes, school board members decide not to serve out their full terms. Under the blended board legislation, the remaining terms of appointed members will be filled by appointment from the Governor, same as always. If an elected member leaves early, the Harford County Council will make the pick.
The blended legislation also amended the terms of several board members to accommodate the transition from appointed to elected seats. One such amendment extended the term of Board Member John Smilko. But Smilko is leaving early (or on time under the old rules) and the Governor will now have to choose a replacement to serve out the last year of the Joppa resident’s extended term. With two candidates already filed to run for the Joppa/Edgewood seat, the Governor could pick a neutral placeholder. But he is also free to pick a favorite among the candidates, giving the advantage of incumbency to one.
The Bottom Line:
For sure, it would have been simpler to end the terms of the current board members and elect an entirely new board all at once. Instead, the extended transition was planned to minimize the impact on the current board. The bottom line is that once the transition is complete, board selection will be mostly done out in the open and the public will finally have a voice.
But public involvement in public education doesn’t end with school board elections – elections are only the beginning.
Whether or not you have children in school, you can’t live a day in Harford County without interacting with a graduate of Harford County Public Schools. The community we are, and community will be, rests on the quality of education we provide to our young citizens. For the first time, the public will decide who will lead our public school system from good to great. For the first time, the opportunity to lead our public schools will be open to all. For qualified candidates, now is the time to answer the call.
As Jenny says “Run For-est, Run!” All the complaints but no one else seems to want to step up to the plate. Give us choices.
Bob Frisch says
Deciding to run is a very big step for someone to take and not to be taken lightly. Those thinking about running must search deep inside to determine if they are really willing to make the commitment to the school system and actually do the hard work necessary to not only keep Harford County one of the best school systems in Maryland but to find ways to make it even better.
The filing deadline is still two weeks away and I am confident that other qualified candidates will step forward.
I agree it is important but some people have been pndering this since 2008, when they claimed to speak for the majority of Harford County Residents and said what we all wanted was an elected board. I expected to see their name on a ballot. Like I expect to see Cindy Mumby’s name on a ballot! I do wander if the compensation does not drive some of them away.
For the record Bob. I am appreciative of you running and I wish I lived in the district my wife works in so I could vote for you.
Bob Frisch says
Thanks for the vote of confidence even if you can’t actually cast a ballot for me. There are other ways to support candidates and I can use all the help I can get. If you are interested contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Frisch says
I think Cindy lives in the Bel Air area which is not up for election this time around.
I imagine she does simply saying I expect to see it then.
Lorrie Warfield says
I agree Bob. The decision to run for Board Of Education was a long thought out process for myself as it was for you. It is a very large time commitment and you have to be absolutely committed to the position.
Tom Myers says
I respect the opinions on both sides of the debate over whether we should change the make up of the Board of Education. However, I strongly believe that having members on the board who live in their communities and know what is happening on a local level is one step towards making sure that we have a public school system that does us proud.
That being said, I filed my candidacy to run in the District B seat yesterday afternoon. I have already talked with several people who are excited about my candidacy because they know I will do what is right for the school system. I am proud to announce that I have the support of Republicans, Democrats, and those who choose not to align with a party in my upcoming campaign.
What the members of the Board of Education need to do is to look after the interests of the students who are learning in Harford County classrooms, the teachers who are responsible for providing the educational resources and the parents who entrust their children in the public school system. It is for them that I am running.
I look forward to hearing your ideas. Please contact me at email@example.com or you may write to me at:
Tom Myers for Harford County
P.O. Box 183
Fallston, Maryland, 21047-0183
Cindy, I thank you for writing this and informing the public as to what the Board does. Bob and Lorrie, I commend you as well as the other candidates, for your decisions to run.
That being said, if you live in District B (Abingdon and Fallston), I hope I win your vote. It’s not just my campaign slogan, but it’s a guarantee and a promise to the residents of Harford County. I am Putting Education First.
I asked this question of Mr. Frisch in another post, and I’d like to pose it to you as well, especially since you would be representing the area I live in.
What are your feelings on home schooling? What about allowing home schoolers to attend individual classes in the public schools?
I’m a home school parent and I removed my kids from public school due to the lack of preparation for college. When my CM child had to take remedial math and English at Harford Community College based upon their entrance exam, I made the decision to home school. I’ve had three children enter HCC since that decision was made and none required remedial classes.
That said, having sent three of the eight children through the public system, choosing to home school the remaining five was an educated decision.
In other states it is common for home schooled children to be able to take individual classes in the public schools, and I’m curious what your opinion is on something like that. I know there are state laws involved here, but I would like your opinon on home schooling and open class enrollment because it helps to vet you as a candidate. It also gives me an idea of what to expect from the local pupil personnel workers if you are elected.
What exactly prepares you to effectively teach your children at home? No parent has the breadth of content information to be an effective educator. The old saying is that a person who represents his or herself in court has a fool for a lawyer; well, kids of parents that decide to home school have a…
How do you know what “breadth of content information” anyone has to be an effective educator. Why is that so many home schooled kids do so well? Many of them do end up taking some classes in high school at the community college but most of them are very successful. It just demonstrates how much wasted time there is in school now and how many ineffective educators there are. Don’t even get me started on the money I have spent getting outside help for my daughter and the amount of time I have spent supplementing her instruction because she didn’t get it at school.
There is no way in hell you have MS/MA degrees in English, Literature, Biology, Earth/Space Science, Chemistry, US History, World History, Foreign Languages, Music, Art, and several specialties of Mathematics. You are also a misguided fool to downplay the efforts of public school educators… far more of them work far harder than the average worker in nearly any field, for considerably less money. Furthermore, I have had many students come into my classroom from home schooling, telling me that they are so far ‘advanced’ compared to the average student, only to fail miserably because they have no basic background (particularity in science and math).
It is clear that most often students are home-schooled in an attempt to brainwash them into a religious dogma without any potential for understanding the realities of science, and in particular evolution. These parents are not equipped to educate students (their children or not), and contrary to what I so hear (and read on Dagger) people say, you DO NOT know what is best for your kids in all arenas of life, PARTICULARLY education.
When I was in a regular classroom and my wife now see lots of Home school kids return to school at the 2 year mark, the point when they must demonstrate knowledge via testing or portfolio review. They return because the parents have sat them in front of a computer and realize the reults will not allow the arrangement to continue. They are usually 2-3 years behind and behavior problems. Statistics say about 75% of home school kids return to traditional school. That said….I have met many parents who either colaboretively or by them selves homeschool very well. Occasionally I worry about how socially adjusted the kid is but beyond that the kid is pretty intelligent.
Au contraire, antireligionists! The primary reason parents home-school their kids is because the public schools are failing to get the job done! Revisionist history, fuzzy math, strange concoctions masquerading as basic spelling, these are the reasons parents home-school their kids. Oh, and yes, while we’re on it, how about the fact that public schools, like those in Massachusetts, usurp the parental prerogative, believing it is their right to teach kids whatever they want despite how the parents feel, even if it undermines the way the parents want to raise their children!? Really, what five-year-old needs to know the first thing about condoms! But public schools have this annoying proclivity for foisting this crap onto the children entrusted to their care and have the arrogance to call it “education”! This is precisely why parents home-school their children, and precisely why Harford County needs an entirely elected board of education, not a blended piece of junk where some elite gets to appoint even one member.
Observer I am not talking about why. I am talking about what happens once it is done. Many return to public school when their parents realize that it is alot of work. The ones that make it past the 2 year mark are fine. Those that don’t are the ones that come back worse off.
Revisionist history? What a major crock of crap. What is revisionist? The religious affiliations of our founding fathers? The meaning of the 2nd amendment? The core causes of our revolution? The driving force behind the civil war? Are you one of those ‘states rights’ people. You have bought the Fox coolaide worst than most if you feel all of these are somehow being mis-taught! I love it when conservatives bring up this bullcrap. You are so damn brainwashed by El-Rushbo that you do not know from right and wrong any longer. How pathetic. I wonder if you have ever read a scholarly piece on Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, or the build up to the Civil War? I SERIOUSLY doubt it (and I am not talking about some crap put out by Dobson either)…
Phil Dirt says
I hope HCPS has a good health insurance plan in case PublicSchoolTeacher breaks his arm patting himself on the back.
PublicSchoolTeacher, your condescending tone is a perfect example of why my kids are in private school safely away from elitist, self righteous, liberal agenda pushing “educators”. You also seem to be a rather angry individual to be teaching. It was not at all surprising to hear a teacher warning of Fox’s brainwashing (whereas I warn against it from ALL media outlets). Is it interfering with your own efforts? Why not teach the kids not to be fooled by ANYONE? Why not teach them as I teach my kids to pay attention to what people say and do then ask yourself what motivates them? – before you take what they say with a grain of salt. Why not teach them that if a politician (ANY politician) is saying it you should assume its a lie until proven otherwise? Why not teach them about the real world from all points of view instead of just your own?
wow, I must say I’m amazed by your anger. I’m a graduate student in Cybersecurity Policy and Procedures. My Bachelors in Computer Security is a well rounded degree focusing on technology and law. I believe my Masters degree will stand up to any other teachers masters degree. Within a short period of time I’ll be qualified to teach at any college, so what makes me not qualified to teach my own children? The lack of a teachers union?
In any case, what makes teachers in public school any better than a home educating parent with a good solid curriculum? Each teacher, public school and home educator, is teaching the child out of a standardized curriculum set to pass a test, correct? Why does that require some specialized rubber stamp? Isn’t the quality of the curriculum the most important thing? Isn’t the teachers ability to bring it to a place where a child can comprehend and utilize it vital? So, if these are the two important things and the children are highly successful based upon standardized tests, PSAT and SAT scores, and other college entrance exams, why is there an arguement? If it’s a a concern over your job security, don’t worry there. There are enough parents who are overwhelmed by the idea of home educating to keep the public schools overcroweded for many years to come.
As for your take on “revisionist history”, let me ask you a question. Have you ever read a history book written before 1920 and then a modern history book both on the same subject? There are amazing differences between them. There are amazing differences between two versions of the same exact textbook. What we are looking for are the pure facts of the situation or the historical event, not the spin that someone with an agenda puts on it.
We have lost sight of facts, pure facts rather than someone’s opinion wrapped around facts. It’s organizations like FOX and other outlets who bring the other side of the arguement that allow people to consider things, ponder them, and brings about intelligent debate. If there is only one side of any issue, then there is no need for thought at all. Before blowing a gasket, consider how you would feel on the other side of the issue. If your thoughts and opinions were criticized so harshly rather than being a party to intelligent, logical, creative discussion.
Your attitude doesn’t reflect the tolerance and sensitivity training that the education world likes to boast. Tolerance is a two way street, just keep that in mind.
oh, and CDEV – please point me to the citing for the statistics you are quoting for 75% of home schooled students returning to the classroom? I’ve homeschooled 6 children successfully, all of which tested in the national merit honor society levels on their PSAT’s, and I know at least 15 other families doing the same, so I’d like to see where you get your information.
Not from Here says
oh, and juls, the National Merit and Honor Society is for college students and as far as I can tell has nothing to do with PSAT scores.
The National Merit program uses PSAT scores, and students would be commended or semi-finalists. Fewer than ten kids in HCPS countywide earn the finalist distinction each year, so if all six of your kids have earned it, you must be doing a great job homeschooling and you certainly should be congratulated. However, I do wonder since you don’t know the name of the program. My child is a National Merit Scholar based on her PSAT scores.
Public School Teacher, I hope you don’t teach my son who is
going to be a junior in high school.
The angry and patronizing attitude alone in having discussions with folks here is very disheartening. I think fedup hit it right on the mark. You can have all the degrees that you want but it doesn’t mean you can teach or teach values. Having said that, I respect the majority of teachers in the system who are hard working but are not trying to flout their intellegence but just trying to have the children advance. The fox and rusho comments show where you are really coming from on the entire situation, maybe the Ed Show, Rachel Maddow or Keith Olbermann are to your liking and so be it. Regardless of the media you care to listen or watch, I would hope that it is not getting in the classroom, but with you I
a citizen says
You are right about the history. The textbook from the 1920’s would have said something like this in regards to slavery “The happy slaves got off the ship excited to have arrived in the New World.” And to think we have had the gaul to change that “ACCURATE” reporting of history?! Geez!
Face it, history will always be tainted by one’s perpsective–conservative or otherwise and be based on the standards of that time period. For example, what would that 1920’s book have said about the role of women……probably nothing except they sure do cook nice. Come on!
actually I have the history book (more acuratley called an almanac) my great grandma used in her one room school house she taught in around 1910 and it refered to african americans as Negro’s it also used some other words which are not PC and had absolutly NO comentary simply facts and dates.
pro pulbic school says
you ever think maybe your child actually needed remedial help in math and English? Why is it that whenever a child shows poorly, it must be that the school did not prepare them properly? The school system is not perfect but it seems to me that they(and specifically the teacher) are the first ones to blame? I’m not against homeschooling, but i am against constantly blaming the school system for a child’s failure. Lets take some responsibility for our own children
pro pulbic school says
to public school teacher,
i agree with phil dirt.”don’t break your arm patting yourself
on the back”
Pro Public School…
isn’t homeschooling the ultimate answer in taking responsibility for my own children?
What parent thinks that their child, who graduates with a 3.45GPA out of the CM classes and has gone through Calculus in the public school would require remedial math and english to get into the community college? Please explain to me how I would have been able to predict that as a parent, and please explain how the public school accurately evalutated my child based upon those things?
I’m not anti public school – I’m pro basics, pro education, and pro prepare my child for college. The ublic school has not been successful at doing that. I can say this, I have 8 kids, three went all the way through public, so it’s not like I’m throwing rocks with no background. My kids are average students, NOT discipline problems. If the public school were successful with the first three I’d be happy to allow my kids to go there, to get the full use of my tax dollars, rather than paying for the public school AND making the sacrifices necessary across all areas in order to home school.
I would like to see if there is an increase in the number of students requiring remediation since HCPS went to the 8 period schedule. I know for a fact that my son’s math teacher (who is an outstanding teacher) said that the block schedule really adversely effected her math classes. The book(s) she had were not lined up to teach that way and when you factor in that over a 4 year period the students lost about 200 hours in math instruction, and without the benefit of having it everyday. Sometimes they didn’t have it for a week because of weather, days off, etc. She also was unable to teach many areas that she had in the past due to the loss of instruction time and trying to prepare the students for AP test (this is in Calculus and Calc 2). We traded math instruction for LICW and Career Clusters and people wonder why the school system is taking a dive?
There have been studies done at the University level and by the College Board that show the detrimental effects of this type of schedule on math. I don’t even think you need a study to understand why it is a problem.
Not from Here says
I don’t know about remediation, but the trend in AP scores certainly should be available. Getting them out of HCPS is the trick.
Very good comment!
Homeschooling parents *do* take responsibility for their own children. That’s why we homeschool.
For the record, I don’t live in Harford County (I’m in Allegany County). I came across this discussion late as the result of a related web search. We are also secular in our homeschool approach. The school our son attended is very highly rated and he did well while he was there. Neither the school itself nor his academic abilities factored into our decision to homeschool. By and large, I think teachers do the best job they can — with the hand they’ve been dealt by an extreme emphasis on testing as the sole benchmark for progress.
My parents both taught in MD schools for over 30 years. The changes they saw in education over that time — mainly the move to “teaching to the test” — drove down their enthusiasm for their jobs because they could no longer be as effective in reaching children in an individualized fashion. It became a case of “If it’s not on the test, I don’t need to know it” for their students. Not every child learns in the same way, but the state testing tries to make every peg fit into a round hole, regardless of its shape. I support teachers. I do *not* support a bureaucracy that reduces students, teachers, and schools to mere numbers and percentages.
Education should be about learning — about discovering what fascinates you and doing all you can to learn about that subject while simultaneously getting a thorough grounding in areas like math, language arts, etc. that everyone needs in life. I don’t like the thought of a child like my son getting lost in the system and feeling less adequate because his peg shape doesn’t conform to the hole mandated by tests that don’t seem him as an individual.
I appreciate public school teachers more than you can know. I hope that comes across in what I’m saying. And while I don’t have degrees in all the areas mentioned above, I do know my child better than any teacher can. And I have the self-awareness to know when I need to educate myself and/or seek out a source that can help me where I might be deficient. I don’t care if my children get into “the best schools.” I care that they’re happy and fulfilled in life. For us, homeschooling is the route to get there. It’s not right for everyone, nor do I believe it’s somehow “better” than public schools. It’s just one more approach to the goal we all want — a better future for all of us.
Tom Myers says
Thank you for your question. I apologize for not responding sooner, but I wanted to take the time to research the subject before I gave you my answer.
I do see value in one-on-one instruction. That is why I volunteered my services as a peer math tutor in my final two years in high school and also as a student classroom aide in my senior year. I believe that classroom instruction has just as much value, if not more. If children are given the opportunity to socialize at an early age with their peers, then that will help those students later on in life in terms of working well with others and enhancing their conflict-resolution skills. I believe individual instruction in areas of difficulty along with classroom instruction may help them do well academically and socially. I believe that such a combination can well prepare them for college and the job market.
Keep in mind that I spent my elementary and secondary schooling in the Harford County Public School system, which has helped me overcome a severe learning disability. I will be forever grateful to HCPS for the opportunities they presented to me. One of the reasons I am running is that I want to give back to the school system that has been so helpful to me. Another reason that I am running is that I want to give other children with disabilities the same chances as I had to succeed.
Again, I thank you for your question and I hope I get your vote. If you have any more questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me through my website: http://www.myersforharford.com.
Bob Frisch says
Welcome to the election. Tell us something about yourself.
Not from Here – Don’t judge AP scores too harshly. At many high schools, the only requirement for an AP course is that the student breathe. At some schools (my son goes to Patterson Mill), there is more of an interest in saying “we have X students taking AP” than there is in making sure that AP courses are taken by high caliber students. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that when you water down the AP populace, you water down the course. There were students taking AP Psychology in my son’s class who consistently received “D’s” and “E’s” as quarterly grades and took the AP Exam. Wonder what their scores were?
Not from Here says
In HCPS anyone can take AP classes to boost their GPA, but they do not require students to take the test. Therefore, only the students who think that they may have acquired some of the needed information takes the test. It would seem as though that would increase scores. In our neighborhood (Patterson Mill district) there is a student who received A’s all year in an AP history class, however, the student earned a 1 on the AP exam. At my daughter’s school, where you are required to take the test if you take the class, a girl fell asleep during one of the AP history tests and still got a 2.
The AP score reports show how many students took a class, how many took the test, and how many passed the test. The reason the numbers (for block schedule and AP results) are valid is because College Board has studied how students on differenct schedules perform on the tests. Guess what? Block scheduling nationwide has the worst results for AP test scores.
And believe me, Mark, I get an earful about Patterson Mill. It has the highest average GPA in the county! Which could have something to do with the AP grade bump or perhaps it is just grade inflation. I keep waiting to hear how PMS stacks up on SAT scores, but that figure hasn’t been widely publicized either.
Mark, you are correct. That, based on my 32 years in the HCPS.
Tom, if elected, will you put a Slurpee machine in Fallston High school?
that comment was for pro public school
As always you have done a thorough job of reporting on educational issues. However, I disagree with you when you say you favor an elected Board of Education. All we have done is to add politics to our school system. I know people have favored this years ago, but the impetus for an elected Board came from Forest Lakes who did not like being redistricted during the secondary redistricting of several years ago. Barry Glassman was only too happy to be their champion. The philosophy was and is that if they are elected, I can get to them and get my way. Why do I disagree with that? Why not let the Orioles when they are playing at home, call ball and strikes, who’s safe and who’s out. Obviously, their decisions would be biased. Now, whether you agree with BOE decisions or not, they made their decisions for what they thought was best for students in the entire county. I am concerned that as we have made BOE members run in councilmanic districts, that goal could be compromised. Suddenly, it becomes the Fallston Schools,or the Bel Air Schools,etc. that become paramount, and not the Harford County Schools. They run as non-party members, but we know better than that. I get mad at the referees and umpires when they go against my team, but I feel they are attempting to be unbiased. Will we be able to say that about the elected BOE?
you assume to much says
Why do you insist on questioning the integrity of the newly elected school board members? They haven’t even been seated yet and you conclude that they will only look out for their respective districts and not HCPS as a whole. Perhaps if recent and current BOE members had been more responsive to the wishes of all county residents there would not have been a desire to move from an appointed to an elected board. It was evident that a majority of Harford residents were dissatisfied with their appointed members and that a referendum to create an entirely elected school board would have passed, so the current compromise of a blended board was reached. I know one of the elected BOE members. That person fully understands that they represent and work for the best interests of the entire school system even though they were elected within a specific district. This is a person of integrity who ran for the right reasons and will do what is in the best interests of all students, not just those from their district, even if those decisions may be unpopular. If other BOE members do not maintain this same standard then at least we will have the opportunity to replace them, an option we never had before, and better than the old way of political cronyism by the Governor; which was alive and well on the fully appointed board. Not all BOE appointments were made solely in the best of students.
you assume to much,
I answered this once for you. I told you then that I was not attacking any elected school board members. Rather, I was discussing the philosophical and theoretical differences between elected vs. appointed school boards. We obviously don’t agree on this subject, but don’t tell me that I am challenging the integrity of the newly elected members. From a political theory perspective, I think I explained my position. Why don’t we see what happens, and the first challenge will be the elementary school redistricting. Let’s see how the people support whatever decision the Board makes, or if they react the same ways they have with an appointed board. Let’s let the Ravens and the Orioles make the decisions on balls and strikes, and penalties too.
how is it evident that a referendum on the subject would have passed?
John Billings says
u assume too much,
you didn’t address much of what Monster said. You retorted that you knew someone, so what? Why don’t you reply to rest of Monsters well written points?
you assume to much says
Monster’s quotes – “Now, whether you agree with BOE decisions or not, they made their decisions for what they thought was best for students in the entire county.” There are many that would disagree with this statement, and their differing view led to the elected BOE legislation. “They run as non-party members, but we know better than that.” Statements like this go beyond the philosophical and certainly could be construed to mean political party affiliation was a primary factor in the decision to run. Party was not mentioned by some candidates, others made it a primary issue (Robinson [a Democrat] in District A, Grambo [a Republican] in District D), and the press chose to identify BOE candidate party registration when they need not have done so. I would agree with Monster that we should wait and see.
Ann Greenfield says
Why does everyone think it so great to be appointed to the Boe? It is a difficult and thankless job. So, good luck to the elected members who going to find this out. Then, if they want to serve again, they can spend their money and time to get reelected. Good luck to them.
Why dont we give the BOE the power to tax? Wouldn’t that give them more control over running the system
you assume to much says
There was enough dissatisfaction with the appointed board to warrant passage to the elected BOE bill. Even those in the delegation who were opposed realized this and agreed to the blended board to avoid an all elected board option put before the voters. Historically, virtually any time voters have this opportunity they choose having a direct say in the selection of school board membership.