Balto. County school board task force chair looking ahead
A task force on the structure of the Baltimore County school board will begin developing its recommendations in the coming weeks, Sen. Kathy Klausmeier said.
Klausmeier, who chairs the task force, said she will be working with co-chairman Del. Steve Lafferty to gather input from other members based on the recent public hearings.
"I want to see if we can find a common thread," she said.
The final public hearing was held last night at the Towson Library. Many in attendance expressed support for an elected board, the structure that exists in more than 90 percent of school districts nationwide, or hybrid form that includes some appointed members to address diversity concerns. Currently, all county board members are appointed by the governor. Most Maryland school districts have elected boards.
Several attendees were skeptical that changes were needed in the board structure, pointing to the school district’s successes – from elementary and middle school test scores to high school graduation rates – and questioning whether research shows any link between school board structure and student achievement.
New school board president Lawrence Schmidt appeared before the committee last night. Schmidt said board members plan to discuss changing speaker time limits – only 10 randomly selected speakers are permitted at meetings – and possibly moving up the time allotted for public comment on the agenda.
Klausmeier said she is willing to meet with anyone who was not able to attend the three forums held this month in Reisterstown, Essex and Towson.
Klausmeier's district office is also accepting testimony by mail (ATTN: Baltimore County School Board Task Force). Submissions may also be emailed over the next two weeks to email@example.com. The task force will issue a report by October.