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Friday, April 07, 2006

Fwd: Pr Geo's Senators erode return of the "Elected" Board of Education

(Posted 7 Apr 2006)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Hathawaybeck@aol.com
Date: Apr 7, 2006 1:10 AM
Subject: Pr Geo's Senators erode return of the "Elected" Board of Education

In an appalling show of political favoritism, on Thursday, April 6, Prince George's Senators passed an amendment to add 3 members of the current appointed Board of Education (Chair, Vice Chair and one unknown other) to the "9 elected members from 9 districts" bill endorsed by Maryland State Delegates.

Senate Outcome: 9 elected + 3 appointed/continuing + 1 student = Lucky 13

I sincerely hope, this last-minute, oh-so-quiet, previously unavailable, end-run amendment by the Prince George's Senators will be denounced by the Prince George's Delegates. If the senate ("continue 3 appointed") version fails, the current board restructuring ("5 and 4 at large") in HB 949 will be enacted.

If appointed board members want to continue in board positions, they can AND SHOULD ... (1) fund raise; (2) campaign; (3) and, more importantly, answer public questions about their tenure on the Board of Education. Let the citizens of Prince George's County vote for EVERY member who will sit on the Board of Education; this is what we were promised four year ago.

I would think current board members should WANT to campaign if only to itemize and underscore their 'accomplishments' over the past four years; it seems unfair to deny them this "opportunity". Let's see ... under their tenure, we were the first school district to have funds withheld by MSDE for a late audit; this board relocated a new high school to south Bowie for students from new McMansions (built and unbuilt) while HS students in north county remain crammed like sardines into their classrooms (Senator Pinsky are you listening?); their curriculum 'reforms' doused gifted programs causing a 'Bright Flight' exodus of TAG students; and, let's not forget, this appointed Board wholeheartedly supported our former CEO even after his computer was confiscated by the FBI. Fabulous reasons for three to continue in office, right?

Personally, I would rather have Dr. Deasy work with a Board of entirely elected/accountable members (yes, even though that means candidates will need enormou$ political $upport and endor$ement$ and, will essentially be "annointed" to their seats). Former CEO Metts had the luxury of a complete new Board -- this current appointed board -- so "continuity" was obviously not a big concern four years ago. Additionally, if current appointed members want to campaign, win, and transition into publicly accountable-members, then fine. Usurping this process for a select few is the antithesis of democracy; is this the example of government we want to model for our students?

We should not accept this brazenly partisan amendment supported by 7 senators silently. The "9 elected members from 9 districts" legislation supported by all but one of the Maryland State Delegates is dying from the poison of the Prince George's senator's political game; let this blame fall at their feet.

Please contact your delegates to express your opinion.

Donna Hathaway Beck

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