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Board of Ed Rejects Official Legislative Platform

The platform was to be presented to a group of local lawmakers at an upcoming meet-and-greet.

The Board of Education is meeting with local lawmakers ahead of the Maryland General Assembly session in January 2013, but the content of the gathering is unclear.

At a Wednesday meeting, the board voted against presenting a document created by its legislative committee listing official stances on education related matters to Baltimore County delegates and council members at a Nov.19 meet-and-greet at George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology in Towson. 

The document was included in a PDF of the meeting packet. It includes opinion on school board selection, charter schools and curriculum and testing.

Michael Collins, member-at-large, said the legislative platform may appear to be telling lawmakers what to do.

"I think it's a bad idea because the legislative delegation and the board of education do not have a positive history," Collins said. "To put it bluntly, several member of the delegation ... don't like us."

Board President Lawrence Schmidt disputed Collins' concern, arguing that the board should get in front of issues impacting education that regularly come up in session.

"At least explaining our position ... most respectfully, not telling anybody what we think they should do but enlightening them and explaining to them what our position is, why it is, is a good thing," Schmidt said.

Board Vice President Valerie Roddy and Member-At-Large Cornelia Bright Gordon opposed the platform saying they didn't agree with some of the stances, and did not consider that the document was presented in a timely fashion to allow changes to be made ahead of the meet-and-greet.

At the end of the board meeting, there was confusion among members that voting down the document presentation meant that the meet-and-greet would be canceled.

School system spokesman Mychael Dickerson said on Friday that the meet-and-greet will go on as scheduled, but the agenda has not yet been established.

The board has previously held meet-and-greet sessions with local lawmakers. If the document had been approved, the upcoming meeting would have been the first time the board presented unified stances to the legislators.

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Karl November 09, 2012 at 09:25 PM
It gets worser and worser. Oh bother! Pooh
LT guy November 09, 2012 at 09:27 PM
"Several" members of the delegation "don't like" the BCPS school board? That's an understatement. The vast majority of Baltimore County legislators in Annapolis have been furious with our school board.
Robert Frisch November 30, 2012 at 02:31 PM
What did the recommended platform say about an elected school board? I sincerely hope that this legislation is reintroduced in Annapolis this year despite the County Executives preemptive efforts to stop it.

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