Harford County School Board in Transition after Election and Resignation of Rich


Following the passage of state legislation last year, the Harford County Board of Education is in the early stages of a transition from a fully appointed, seven-member board to a nine-member blended board consisting of both appointed and elected members. The first school board elections were held last week, when the voters chose three new […]

John Smilko to End Term on Harford School Board

Harford County Board of Education Member John Smilko has announced that he plans to leave the Board at the conclusion of his original five year term on June 30, 2010. Smilko, a Bel Air businessman and resident of Joppatowne, was appointed by Governor Robert Ehrlich in 2005. During his term, Mr. Smilko  was outspoken on […]

Fairness in Negotiations Act Brings Changes to Public School Labor Negotiations


The passage of the Fairness in Negotiations Act by the 2010 Maryland General Assembly will bring significant changes to public school labor negotiations in Maryland. Is the new law a “big win” or “openly hostile to education”? That depends on whom you ask. In brief, the 24-page Fairness in Negotiations Act creates a state-wide Public […]

School Board Member Smilko Delivers “Reality Check” to Harford Teachers


A confidentiality agreement is supposed to prevent both the Harford County Board of Education and the Harford County Education Association (HCEA) from discussing labor negotiations in public. Those talks are normally conducted behind closed doors and so far, they have yet to result in a teachers’ contract for the 2009 –10 school year. But Board […]

With Proposed Labor Relations Bill, “Anything Is For Sale In Annapolis,” School Board Member Says


Potential legislation affecting public school labor negotiations prompted angry charges from Harford County Board of Education member John Smilko last Monday night. At the school board’s business meeting in Bel Air, Smilko said a bill pending in the Maryland General Assembly would benefit unions and would be “the Governor’s payback to the teachers’ union for […]