Baltimore County Board of Education president Lawrence E. Schmidt sent the following message to Patch in response to a letter to the editor sent Tuesday from a parent of a Baltimore County Public Schools student.
Mr. Greene: I believe that Baltimore County Public Schools is a high achieving district not because we are located near Washington, DC, but because of our students, teachers and parents.
I give them the credit and believe that the school administration and Board of Education have provided a platform upon which our students can achieve! My point in opposing the elected school board bill is that the system, although far from perfect, is doing a good job in its most important task; i.e. educating students.
Those who complain about the current board frequently cite Policy 1300 (access to facilities), AIM (the teacher reporting model) and air conditioning as their chief complaints.
I'd prefer to hear those complaints rather than that "Johnny and Mary can't read." The board ultimately addressed and resolved AIM and Policy 1300. If the political leaders can find the funds, we're happy to air condition every school in Baltimore County. In the past five years, we've added 1.2 million square feet of air-conditioned space.
Under the current setup, our schools are "governed" by three entities that check and balance each other.
The board, which provides oversight and acts like a board of directors, the superintendent and staff (who provide day to day operational control) and our political leaders (who fund us).
Certainly, an elected school board position will be a bottom of the ballot entry. Running for a board position will necessitate raising a campaign war chest and aligning oneself with a top of the ballot office holder.
Do we really want the board to lose its independence and become overtly political? Particularly since we are accomplishing our core goal of educating the students of Baltimore County I (most respectfully) think not.
President, Board of Education of Baltimore County