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Delegate Says School Board Selection Process 'Antiquated,' Calls for Elections

Del. Steve Schuh called the current system "antiquated," and called for school board members to be answerable to voters, not the governor.

Del. Steve Schuh called the current system "antiquated," and called for school board members to be answerable to voters, not the governor. (Photo by D. Frank Smith)
Del. Steve Schuh called the current system "antiquated," and called for school board members to be answerable to voters, not the governor. (Photo by D. Frank Smith)
Should Anne Arundel's Board of Education be appointed or elected?

New legislation was drafted this week in the Anne Arundel House of Delegates, co-sponsored by Del. Steve Schuh (R-District 31) and Tony McConkey (R-District 33A), to tackle that question.

The county's Board of Education is appointed by the governor from selections made by an 11-member School Board Nominating Commission. 

In a press release Friday, Schuh called the current system "antiquated" and said school board members should answer to voters, not the governor.

"It is undemocratic for the governor to determine who represents our citizens on matters that have a direct effect on our children's education," Schuh wrote.

The proposed legislation calls for a compromise in which five of the board's nine members would be elected from among the county's five legislative districts, leaving four appointed seats.

Anne Arundel County Public Schools spokesman Bob Mosier said the board has never taken a position on any legislation regarding how its members arrive on the board.

"[Superintendent Mamie J. Perkins'] position is that what matters is not the manner in which someone gains a seat on the board, but the passion and desire they have to improve our school system once they take their seat," Mosier wrote in an email to Patch.

Anne Arundel County's delegation have been considering legislation to make the positions subject to popular vote since 2012, when proposed legislation failed to make ground. 

Jenny Clagett January 25, 2014 at 06:28 AM
This is in order for for-profit education to take over the school boards and privatize the school system. The cost to run for a school board position will jump to $250,000 and up. It will make running for the school board only possible with huge corporate donations which indebt the winner to the corporations and not to the voters.

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