Issues 2016: Partially Elected School Board

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Partially Elected School Board
House Bill 558: SUPPORT

AFT-Maryland, and its affiliate, the Baltimore Teachers Union, believe that the institution of a process that allows for the election of members of the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners is imperative.

The participation of citizens in the election of those who administer education policies is both positive and progressive. The election of members of the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners will encourage citizens to believe that they have access to those responsible for developing and implementing the policies that affect their children’s education.

Further, allowing the election of some of the members of the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners will empower parents and city residents by democratizing the process of selecting board members and thus motivate citizens and parents to participate in the formation and implementation of educational policies.

AFT-Maryland believes that this involvement on the parts of parents and citizens is essential, and that this is why most school boards in the state of Maryland—and indeed, the majority of school boards throughout the country—are elected.

The current process of selecting members of Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners encourages Board members to acknowledge their responsibility to those who appointed them. Board members also should be encouraged to remember that they are answerable to the citizens and the parents of the children whom they serve.

By allowing a percentage of the Baltimore City School Board’s members to be elected, the City Administration signals to parents, teachers, and the community at large, that their participation and input into matters concerning educational policies and processes are welcomed and respected.

Indeed, nothing will send a clearer signal to the residents of Baltimore—a signal that says that the City encourages their participation—than allowing citizens to choose at least some of those who will represent them and their children on the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners.

The election of Board members means access to Board members, and it means that those Board members are answerable to the citizens they serve.

AFT-Maryland, and its affiliate, the Baltimore Teachers Union, believes that this will be beneficial both to the city’s educational system and to citizens.

Maryland Delegate Cheryl Glenn has proposed House Bill 558, which will allow the creation of a partially elected school Board in Baltimore City. AFT-Maryland, and its affiliate, the Baltimore Teachers Union, fully support this legislation and urge its adoption and implementation.

 

AFT-Maryland Legislative Issues 2016
For more information, contact Terence Cooper, Director of Legislative Affairs, AFT-Maryland, tcooper@aftmd.org, or Todd Reynolds, Political Coordinator, treynolds@aftmd.org.