Arundel Co. delegation approves hybrid school board bill

PoliticsElectionsU.S. House Committee on Ways and MeansAnne Arundel County

The Anne Arundel County delegation to the General Assembly has voted to approve a House bill that would transform the county's school board from its current nine-member, all-appointed model to a body with five elected and four appointed members.

Delegate Steve Schuh, a Republican who co-sponsored the bill with Republican delegate Tony McConkey, said the bill calls for five seats elected by district, three at-large seats and one student board member seat.

Schuh said the measure would be phased in over time as current board members' tenures lapse. He said the bill would take approximately three years to be phased in.

"The problem with our school board is not the people, how they conduct themselves; the problem is the manner of selection," said Schuh. "I am very satisfied with the individuals on our school board. They are dedicated and hard working people. That's not what this about. This is about democracy.

"The purpose of the bill is to make sure that school board members are directly accountable to the people, rather than to the governor," added Schuh. "We felt it was important that parents have the opportunity to select the people who oversee the education of their children."

Schuh said the bill will now head to the House Ways and Means Committee.

Anne Arundel Schools spokesman Bob Mosier said the school board has not taken a position on any of the bills regarding the board's makeup, adding, "They have not felt it's their place to take a position. The superintendent has worked with elected boards and he's worked with appointed boards throughout his career."

joseph.burris@baltsun.com

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