Appointed School Boards Aren’t Politicized?

Last night the Baltimore County Board of Education voted to oppose SB 141 that would make at least some positions on the school board elected.  The proposal is for a hybrid board made of both appointed and elected positions.  According to a Catonsville Patch article by Penny Riordan, they approved a document that stated:

“creating a board structure composed mostly of elected members would unnecessarily politicize an efficient process that must remain focused on ensuring sound education policy for all Baltimore County students, avoiding the potential for narrow geographic focus and special interest groups’ agendas.”

Let’s explore this for a moment.  They’re afraid of politicizing the school board.  Um, hello, you’re appointed by the most partisan person in the state, the Governor.  We’ve heard of backroom deals using positions on the board for political gain, so let’s just throw that theory out the window right off the bat.  These people don’t want elections because they don’t want to lose their jobs or their power to negotiate positions for their “friends.”

Here’s my thing with the school board, and it actually has nothing to do with politics per say.  I’m not sure what the criteria is, but I’m thinking you must be old and out of touch to even be considered.  As a parent with a kindergartner, I wonder what goes through their heads when they plan out the school year or deciding snow days and delays.  Within the first two weeks of school, my son had three days off.  The argument is that it helps ease them into school.  Sure, that’s great for a 7th grader, but a newbie?  Not so much.

How about the fact that they only allowed for one week and a day for Christmas break, and the kids didn’t get out until Christmas Eve?  So when are you supposed to travel?  Earth to the Board: this is a very transient community.  Many people don’t have family around at all.  We didn’t go home at all this year.  There just wasn’t enough time.

So what do you think?  Should the school board be elected or continue to be appointed?

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One Response to Appointed School Boards Aren’t Politicized?

  1. Where I grew up, the entire school board was elected except the Superintendent who was approved by the School Board / Community members. Yes, it can get “political” but they were non-partisan positions and if you didn’t do a good job, you got booted when your term expired.

    In my opinion, I think it’s ludicrous to have an appointed school board that is not beholden to the people who they have power over.

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