I sent an email to my community in Carney to forward a letter Senator Bobby Zirkin sent to his fellow Baltimore County Maryland State Senators and Delegates to state his true position on how the Board of Education should be populated.
In an article in The Sun it was implied that he favors the Kevin Kamenetz approach of appointing the Board of Education members and then having them stand for election. In his letter, Senator Zirkin makes it very clear that he favors a hybrid board with elected members who stand before their fellow citizens prior to election and tell them why they want to be on the Board of Education of Baltimore County. He states: " I continue to believe that Baltimore County citizens are more than capable of making their own decisions without the influence of politicians."
I have spent 20 years as a volunteer education advocate for rigor and equity for the student in Baltimore County Public Schools. For 5 years I was a member of the Board of Education of Baltimore County. I will now give you my opinion as well as my observations on the current problems with an appointed Board of Education. Although I think a fully elected school board is the proper way populate the Board of Education of Baltimore County, a majority elected board with appointments limited to minority citizens to ensure equity would be a good step in the right direction.
Current County Executive Kevin Kamenetz wants to keep total control of the school board member and thus favors a fully appointed board of education. Senator Kathy Klausmeier told Carney residents at the November 2012 meeting of the Carney Improvement Association that she favors a fully appointed school board.
In the 1990's 4 at-large positions were added to the then 7 member school board. The reason that the at-large positions were added was to ensure that minorities would be represented equitably on the Board of Education of Baltimore County. Unfortunately this is not the way that these 4 at-large positions have been used. Currently there are 3 white men sitting in these at large seats on the Board of Education of Baltimore County and newly arrived to Baltimore County black woman who lives in Towson and is a lawyer friend of Kevin Kamenetz .
Futhermore, when I was a member of the Board of Education a few years ago, none of the sitting Board of Education members were willing to put themselves forward as candidates for an elected school board position. What does this say? It says to me that they are political appointees who do not want to go before the citizens and explain their reasons for wanting to be on the Board of Education of Baltimore County.
If we as citizens can be "trusted" to elect local, Federal and state leaders and representatives, we are certainly capable of electing the members of the Board of Education of Baltimore County.
Please help the many citizens countywide who are working to change from an appointed school board to an elected school board. 96% of all school boards are elected nationwide. There are only 4 of 24 MD school boards that are not elected: Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and 2 very small school districts (I think that they are on the Eastern Shore).
Call or email your Baltimore County Maryland State Senator and Delegates and tell them that you want a partially or fully elected Board of Education.
The District 8 State Senator is Kathy Klausmeier and she told the Carney Improvement Association members at our November 2012 that she is firmly committed to an appointed school board. I know that Senator Klausmeier is a good person and you may be able to help change her mind. Senator Klausmeier's email address is : email@example.com.
The District 8 State Delegates are Joe Boteler, John Cluster and Eric Bromwell. I believe Eric Bromwell favors an appointed school board, but I am not sure about Delegates Boteler and Cluster. The email addresses for the delegates are: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; and firstname.lastname@example.org.
You could also call them at in Annapolis (It is a local call): Kathy Klausmeier is 410.841.3620; Joe Boteler's phone number is 410.841.3365; John Cluster's phone number is 410.841.3526; and Eric Bromwell's phone number is 410.841.3766
If you are receiving this and live in a District other than District 8 you can call me please call me at 410.668.5183 (home) or 410.409.3136 (cell).and I will help you locate contact information for your State Senator and Delegates.
I know that many communities are members of the Community Action Network. We could really use your support in giving the citizens a true voice by letting them elect the Board of Education members from among their neighbors. We need to end political control of the Board of Education of Baltimore County this year.
All it takes is citizens emailing and or calling their State Senators and Delegates. Please forward a copy of any emails you send asking for an elected Board of Education of Baltimore County to Senator Bobby Zirkin whose email address is email@example.com.