Tag Archives: Maryland

Maryland House OKs bill limiting school testing

md_general_assemblyThe Maryland House of Delegates approved a bill Tuesday that would limit the amount of time school districts can spend on testing.

The Less Testing, More Learning Act sailed through with minimal debate on a 139-0 vote.

The bill would limit schools to spending 2 percent of classroom time on tests that are required by the federal government, the state or the school district, including standardized tests. Tests and quizzes developed by individual teachers are not included in the 2 percent cap.

The 2 percent limit equates to about 21.6 hours per year in elementary and middle schools and 23.6 hours in high schools, according to the Maryland State Education Association, which has been pushing for the bill.

Advocates are hopeful that they’ll also be able to get the bill through the Senate, where 31 of 47 members are cosponsors. The bill is currently in the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee.

A similar bill last year was passed by the House but died in the Senate in the last few weeks of the 90-day General Assembly session.

Gov. Larry Hogan has previously expressed concern that students are subject to too much testing in school.

Via Baltimore Sunmarylandmap2

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State BOE has primary jurisdiction over Howard County Superintendent – Dispute with the Local Board.

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Dr. Renee Foose, superintendent of Howard County Public School System (File photo)

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Update on HB1565 – PGCPS Bill on Reform.

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Prince George’s House Delegation Education Committee hearing on HB1565 to address issues with the school board structure was held yesterday.

Reform Sasscer Movement for Prince George’s County verified with several delegates concerning bill HB1565. There are amendments currently pending including by Delegate Howard, Delegate Jay Walker. A possible hearing is supposed to take place next week on Wednesday March 8th, 2017 at 9am. However, delegates are not sure if the date conflicts with other hearings. In any event, it will take a while to decide if the bill dies in the committee or not.

According to delegate Howard, all senators from Prince George’s County except Senator Muse are against bill HB1565. She indicated she was fighting for the bill to be debated and is supportive. We will share the latest once amendments become available.

Remember , we must fight to help  stop….” Prince George’s County Public Schools diverting money through illegal procurement practices and stop using the annual school budget to create black holes to hide money that is later diverted to pet projects, bonuses and salaries of employees for central office staff. When the CEO of Schools, his executive staff and appointed board members are allowed to break the law; cover up the abuse and sexual molestation of children; lose a $4 million grant; fire whistle blowers reporting waste using manufactured evidence; give bonuses and salary increases to executive staff while only giving teachers a 2% cost of living increase; attempt to fund school background checks in the FY18 budget at $600,000 when the FY17 expenditure is projected to be less than $80,000; and consistently have more than $30 million in unplanned spending for non school-based programs or services, it’s difficult to make a legitimate argument that $20 million split between 24 counties is going to hurt our systems bottom line”… ( Tonya Wingfield via facebook)

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Update: The case of Delegate Carolyn J.B. Howard and PG -402-17

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Delegate Carolyn JB Howard

Today at 9am, the Prince George’s County  delegation on Education Committee held a meeting in Annapolis following our  expose concerning Bill PG -402-17. Efforts to verify what was discussed about the bill were unsuccessful as Delegate Carolyn JB Howard was said to be in a way and means meeting . Members of the Education sub committee in the delegation side for Prince George’s County  are listed below. We will update you once we receive more information concerning the bill and other matters.

Chair Delegate Geraldine Valentino-Smith
Vice-Chair Delegate Daryl Barnes
Members Delegate Tawanna Gaines
Delegate Joseline Pena-Melnyk

Delegate Carlo Sanchez

Delegate Carolyn JB Howard

Counsel Lynne Rosen
Committee Staff Peggy Callahan

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MD House Ways and Means Committee to hear classroom digital device safety bill

screensandkidsPress Release
House Ways and Means Committee to hear classroom digital device safety bill
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 23, 2017

(ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND) The House Ways and Means Committee of the Maryland General Assembly will hear legislation on Friday, February 24th at 1:00 that directs the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) to craft safety guidelines for the use of digital devices in Maryland public schools.

Delegate Steven Arentz (R-District 36) has sponsored the legislation, House Bill 866, “Primary and Secondary Education – Health and Safety Guidelines and Procedures – Digital Devices.” The bill has 25 co-sponsors and broad bi-partisan support. An identical bill has been cross-filed by Senator Steve Hershey (R-District 36), co-sponsored by Senator James Brochin (D-District 42) and Senator Susan Lee (D-District 16). It has been referred to the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee.

HB866 aims to protect Maryland students from the health hazards that medical experts have for many years associated with daily use of digital devices. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has had regulations governing the use of computers for office workers since the 1990s, but schools have no medical oversight.

“More and more experts are proving that there are serious risks to our kids’ health because they spend every day on a digital device,” Delegate Arentz said. “Maryland students need to get the most out of this technology, so we want medical professionals to lead us in a safe direction.”

Researchers have shown that many of the same health issues addressed by OSHA are now facing students who use digital devices every day in school. Retinal damage from blue light emissions, myopia, sleeplessness, muscle and joint pain, headaches, blurred vision, obesity, anxiety and addiction have all been associated as health risks facing students because of daily digital device use.

The bill has substantial support from the state’s medical community. The Maryland State Medical Society (MedChi), which represents all of Maryland’s doctors, voted to support the legislation at their most recent meeting, according to Gene Ransom, MedChi’s Executive Director. One of the co-sponsors, Delegate Clarence Lam, is a physician who leads Johns Hopkins University’s preventative medicine residency program.

Believed to be the first of its kind, the Maryland bill also has the attention of several large health groups across the country. The nation’s leading vision health organization, Prevent Blindness, supports the Maryland bill. Senior Vice President Jeff Todd wrote a letter commending Maryland’s “efforts to ensure children’s vision, eye health and safety is at the forefront of any statewide effort related to childhood development.”

Optometrists from around the country have also sent support to the General Assembly urging passage of this legislation, including J. Scott Sikes, O.D., a NC Optometric Society Education Trustee and Dr. Geoffrey Goodfellow, OD, FAAO, an Associate Professor at the Illinois College of Optometry and an attending optometrist in the Pediatrics/Binocular Vision Service of the Illinois Eye Institute.

“Protecting eyesight when it comes to the progressive use of digital technology and screen time addiction in young people is our number one priority” said Justin Barrett, CEO of Healthe, a company that creates products “to reduce exposure to harmful digital UV and High-Energy Visible (HEV) blue light emitted from such devices.” “We hope the lawmakers will pass this important legislation to set a precedent for other states in the protection of all students.”

Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, PhD, LCSW-R, a nationally recognized addiction expert and author of Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction Is Hijacking Our Kids, writes: “I commend the screen safety effort in Maryland and strongly encourage the General Assembly to pass HB 866 and SB 1089 to mandate medically sound classroom regulations.”

Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) is a national advocacy organization with nearly 50,000 members, including 1,000 in Maryland. The group has asked Maryland lawmakers to give HB866 their “complete endorsement.” In a letter to the Ways and Means Committee, CCFC Executive Director, Josh Golin, writes, “It is critical that medical professionals develop clear, research-based, age-appropriate guidelines for the use of digital devices in schools.”

Citing its 30-page research document released in August, Parents Across America (PAA) is another national advocacy group endorsing HB866/SB1089. PAA notes that it “has prepared extensive materials about the harmful effects on children’s academic, intellectual, emotional, physical and social development when digital devices are misused and overused… We applaud the Maryland lawmakers who have responded quickly and appropriately to this critical situation.”

Maryland parents have rallied to support the classroom screen safety bill as well. Leslie Weber, Co-Founder of Advocates for Baltimore County Schools (ABCSchools), the largest public education advocacy coalition in the county, says, “This bill is greatly needed, especially in Baltimore County, where one of the nation’s largest 1:1 digital initiatives is underway. Children as young as 5 are in front of screens most days — objective guidelines from the DHMH are needed to ensure the safety of these students.”

Janis Sartucci, a member of the Parents’ Coalition of Montgomery County, said, “This bill is long overdue. Our children need to be protected from a variety of health risks that could affect them for a lifetime. We must get DHMH involved to be sure kids aren’t hurt.”

Queen Anne’s County parent, Cindy Eckard, has testified and written extensively about the need for medical oversight of classroom digital devices. Her Op Eds have appeared in both the Washington Post and the Baltimore Sun. During a recent radio interview Ms. Eckard told WBAL Radio reporter Robert Lang, “Of course we want our kids to master technology; we just don’t want them harmed in the process.”

Ms. Eckard also noted that teachers have a legal duty of care to protect students from known hazards in the classroom. “This bill will help teachers too, giving them statewide, uniform safety guidelines, from medical professionals and specialists at DHMH.”

Links to medical research; recorded General Assembly testimony; a screen safety press conference held in Annapolis with actress/comedian Paula Poundstone, and detailed information regarding the legislation are available on the website www.screensandkids.us or email Ms. Eckard at screensandkids@gmail.com.marylandmap2

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Update: HB1107 Hearing in Annapolis Maryland postponed

14925273_10209778694056391_220817217610615058_nUpdate: The hearing concerning bill PG -402-17 which was to be held on Wed, Feb 22, 2017 8:30am, room 218 Lowe House Office Building has been postponed. Please check these links for the future hearing and dates.

http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?pid=cmtepage&stab=03&id=hru&tab=subject3&ys=2017RS

http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?pid=billpage&stab=01&id=hb1565&tab=subject3&ys=2017RS

School Board and CEO
If you are interested in testifying in support of PG-402-17, to return to an all elected school board, keep checking back to the links above.

We received this information late. You might want to call your elected officials concerning this bill.

See bill text at https://www.princegeorgeshousedelegation.com/legislation/bill-history?local=PG%20402-17

Read more >>> Kevin Maxwell, PGCPS CEO, gets four more years in Suspicious Circumstances

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AG Frosh asks for $1 million to exercise new powers after failing to disclose misconduct and widespread Fraud.

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House Republican Leader Nic Kipke, far left, argues against granting new powers to the attorney general.

Hours after the House of Delegates gave final approval to broad new powers for Attorney General Brian Frosh to sue the federal government, he was in front of a House committee asking for $1 million a year to hire five lawyers for his new mission.

The delegates approved the new powers for the Democratic AG to go after the Trump administration without the permission of Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in a straight party line vote 89-50, with all Republicans opposed.

Republicans on the House Health and Government Operations Committee wondered why the fiscal analysis of the just passed Maryland Defense Act, SJ5, and its House companion, HJ3, stated that “The Office of the Attorney General can use existing resources to handle any litigation initiated as a result of the resolution,” yet here he was asking for a million dollars in mandated spending in HB913.

The mandated spending would not kick in until the fiscal 2019 budget begins July 1, 2018. For the next 16 months, Frosh would be using existing attorneys in his main office, but they would be pulled from other duties, he said.

The new spending mandate was sponsored by Del. Sandy Rosenberg, D-Baltimore, who also was the lead sponsor of the House joint resolution. The bill contains the same language as the resolutions authorizing the attorney general to pursue lawsuits.

The bill and the resolution explicitly mention “ensuring the availability of affordable health care; safeguarding public safety and security; protecting civil liberties; and preserving and enhancing the economic security of workers and retirees” along with protection of consumer rights, pensions, the environment and “the general health and well-being of [state] residents.”

A key difference between what the House passed Wednesday morning and the bill in committee is the joint resolutions go into effect immediately without the signature of the governor and HB913 is regular legislation that needs the governor’s OK.

“We’re opposed to mandated spending,” said Hogan communication director Doug Mayer, who refused to speculate about whether the governor would veto the bill. Hogan has consistently pushed legislation to reduce spending mandates, not increase them, since they control over 80% of the discretionary general fund budget.

Asked how they arrived at a figure of $1 million for five new assistant attorneys general and support staff, Rosenberg and Frosh said the model was a federalism division in the office of the Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a Republican.

Pruitt has been nominated as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, an agency he has sued 14 times.

Frosh said he might wind up suing Pruitt if he tries to dismantle the Chesapeake Bay clean-up, an EPA program that was the subject of a Pruitt lawsuit.

Maryland Attorney General misconduct in Maryland is terrifying:

However, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh did not disclose to the Maryland general assembly that, his office has been violating Federal laws willfully in Maryland for many years by colluding with the corrupt state and union officials operating in Maryland to the detriment of many. The office is also involved in tortious interference of lawyers hired by employees in conspiracy with the Maryland State Education Association (MSEA), ACE-AFSCME Local 2250, AFSCME International and others in the Maryland Democratic party regime.

Other violations by the Office of the Maryland Office of the Attorney General include engagement in Fraud, discrimination and misconduct by interfering with the Maryland court system in retaliation and defamation.

Unconstitutional and illegal. 

The extra powers the attorney General for Maryland has gotten are unconstitutional and only meant to serve close friends and well connected few.  His agenda has nothing to do with protecting illegal immigrants or Chesapeake Bay clean up etc as he and others wants people to believe. The willful violations of State and Federal laws the Maryland State attorney general has been committing is terrifying. We all should be upset after discovering the truth. We need to demand investigations and also call elected officials to conduct a hearing concerning these issues. Interference of state courts in an organized scheme to benefit a few close friends and family should be made a crime in Maryland.  (See Supreme Court Case No. 16A662; Mua v. The Maryland Office of the Attorney General et al; Mua et al v. State of Maryland et al  16-1435; Prince George’s County Circuit Court case No. 11-36992)

Prevalence of Prosecutorial Misconduct

According to legal News, Prosecutorial misconduct is, in the words of noted Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, “rampant.” Due to the lack of a uniform reporting body – each state has its own attorney discipline system – the number of criminal cases affected by prosecutorial abuses is unknown. Research studies have shed some light on this subject, though.

A 2003 report by the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit government watchdog group, examined more than 11,400 allegations of prosecutorial misconduct in appellate rulings between 1970 and 2003. In 2,012 of those cases (17.6%), misconduct by prosecutors led to dismissals, sentence reductions or reversals. Few prosecutors, however, were sanctioned for the violations cited by the appellate courts; only 44 faced disciplinary action, and seven of those cases were dismissed.

As stated earlier this week, It is utterly depressing to have to accept the fact that so many legislators in Maryland voted to give more power to the Attorney General who is engaged in misconduct, if only by proxy, colluding in their own subjugation, but to understand why it has happened is incredibly important.

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The prosecutor has more control over life, liberty, and reputation than any other person in America. His discretion is tremendous…. While the prosecutor at his best is one of the most beneficent forces in our society, when he acts from malice or other base motives, he is one of the worst. 

—Former U.S. Attorney General Robert Jackson

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Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh

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Md. Senate backs resolution allowing AG to sue federal government

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ANNAPOLIS, MD – JANUARY, 6: Attorney General Brian Frosh (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

After a nearly two-hour debate, the Maryland Senate approved a resolution late last week that gives the attorney general authority to take legal action against the federal government without having to first get permission from the governor.

The measure, which is on a legislative fast track, now goes to the House. The Senate’s 29-to-17 vote came more than a week after Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D) said he asked Gov. Larry Hogan (R) but did not receive clearance to move forward to sue the Trump administration.

Raquel Coombs, a spokeswoman for Frosh, said Friday that the attorney general sent a letter to the governor on Feb. 1 asking for permission to take legal action against President Trump’s controversial entry ban but never received an answer.

“He has not said yea or nay,” Coombs said.

During a media event in Baltimore on Friday, Hogan was asked about the resolution and whether he responded to Frosh. He said the two had gone “back and forth” over the issue.

“He is an independently elected constitutional officer and he does what he wants to do, and now the legislature has given him more power,” Hogan said.

Senate Democrats moved the resolution quickly, to the chagrin of Republicans, who said the measure was a partisan attack against Hogan in an attempt to tie him to Trump.

But Democrats balked at the notion, saying 41 other attorneys general can bypass the governor and legislature to sue the federal government.

Sen. Dolores Kelly (D-Baltimore County) said the state attorney general should be able to respond to the actions being taken by the Trump administration on immigration, health care, consumer protections and the environment.

“Time is of the essence,” she said. “So many threats and actions are in fact impacting states’ rights.”

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert), who has expressed his concerns about the future of the Chesapeake Bay, told his Republican colleagues that the resolution was “aimed at Capitol Hill” and had “absolutely nothing” to do with Hogan.

On Thursday, the majority of the Republican caucus walked out in protest after trying unsuccessfully to delay an initial vote on the resolution.

In other business Friday, lawmakers in the House approved a bill that would prohibit firearms on Maryland’s public college campuses. The legislation, which moves to the Senate for consideration, passed 84 to 49, with no Republicans supporting it and four Democrats voting against it.

Advocates say the bill would improve campus safety, but Republicans said it would strip individuals of their constitutional right to bear arms and their ability to protect themselves.

“This bill doesn’t create safe spaces. It creates target zones,” said Del. Robin L. Grammer Jr. (R-Baltimore County).

Del. Pam Queen (D-Montgomery), an assistant professor at Morgan State University, said guns on campus could cause fear and stifle intellectual debate, potentially cause minor altercations to escalate into deadly violence, and create anxiety among faculty over posting grades.

“College campuses are a special place — a special place to foster education, to be devoid of physical intimidation, to have a right to an education in a safe environment, to have an exchange of ideas from various people,” she said.

Republicans failed to win support for several amendments to the bill, including language that would have required colleges to arm their security forces and provided an exemption for cases in which state police have determined that an individual’s life is in danger.

The bill would require colleges to notify the public of the firearm ban with signs posted in prominent locations, including at campus entrances.

The House passed similar legislation last year, but the Senate never voted on it.

Via Washington Post

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In this file photo, a Maryland State Trooper stands guard at the doors to the Maryland State Senate chamber in Annapolis, Md., Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, the first day of the 2017 legislative session. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) **FILE**

The Maryland Senate voted 29-17 Friday for the resolution. All of the Senate’s 14 Republicans and three Democrats voted against it.

Supporters cited concerns about the potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act and worries about lax enforcement of regulations to protect the Chesapeake Bay.

Democrats also noted economic concerns relating to possible reductions in the federal workforce, because Maryland has a large number of federal workers. They say their constituents are scared about what may happen next in Washington.

Maryland Attorney General misconduct in the State of Maryland is terrifying:

However, the real reasons Maryland legislature voted for Maryland Attorney General to have more powers was something else – and they’re terrifying. We will be highlighting this shortly in this blog including interference of state courts by the Office of the Attorney General of Maryland in conspiracy with the Maryland Democratic party regime. Stay tuned. 

It is utterly depressing to have to accept the fact that so many legislators in Maryland voted to give more power to the Attorney General who is engaged in misconduct, if only by proxy, colluding in their own subjugation, but to understand why it has happened is incredibly important.

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The prosecutor has more control over life, liberty, and reputation than any other person in America. His discretion is tremendous…. While the prosecutor at his best is one of the most beneficent forces in our society, when he acts from malice or other base motives, he is one of the worst. 

—Former U.S. Attorney General Robert Jackson

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County council takes no position, board of education opposes 1107 repeal

Annapolis-State-House-MD-flagUPPER MARLBORO – Both the board of education and the county council weighed in on the state’s efforts to change the structure of the Prince George’s County Board of Education yet again.

The Prince George’s House Delegation is considering a bill, PG 402-17, which would repeal major provisions of HB 1107, passed by the General Assembly in 2013. The repeal would return the body to an all-elected board and create provisions for special elections – at county expense – to fill vacant board seats. Under current law, the county executive has the power to fill vacant board seats, as well as to appoint four members to the board and choose the chief executive officer (CEO) for Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS). The repeal would give the board the power to choose who heads PGCPS.

During a Feb. 2 work session, the board of education voted 9-2 to accept the board’s policy committee’s recommendation to oppose the bill. Edward Burroughs, III and Raheela Ahmed, both elected members, cast the no votes.

“The power really lies in the hands of three individuals, and it’s not fair. It’s not fair to those individuals, and it’s not fair for our system to have this form of governance that is so determined by three individuals,” Ahmed said of the current structure. “If one of the key players changes then that can cause some imbalance in our system, and that’s not fair for our students and our schools either.”

Demetria Tobias, associate general counsel for PGCPS, said the policy committee recommended the board oppose the bill for several reasons. She said it is premature, because HB 1107 already included provisions for reporting and evaluating progress under the new governance structure to allow the General Assembly to revisit the changes in the 2018 session. Tobias also said the impression was that the bill was partially in response to the issues the school system has faced over the last year, such as the loss of Head Start funding and child abuse allegations. She said those problems are not symptoms of the school system’s governance structure being broken.

“It is unfair, in our view, and inaccurate, to blame those issues, those crises, those problems that we are actually working on, on the new governance structure,” Tobias said.

Burroughs disagreed. He said the board’s inability to hold school leadership accountable for failing to share information about the warnings sent by the federal government about the Head Start program resulted in the loss of the funds.

“If I have the ability to select my own leadership, those individuals would have been held accountable by this board. The county executive refused to hold the leadership accountable, and as a result we lost the funds,” Burroughs said.

He also said the fact that the board of education needs a two-thirds vote to override the CEO’s decisions was a cause of rising class sizes and administrative costs within PGCPS.

His board colleague Beverly Anderson also criticized that two-thirds vote policy, but said the structure of the governing body isn’t as important as the people that make it up.

“I think 1107, almost any structure is okay, but it’s the attitudes and the implementations and the transparency of workers and what my peer Ms. (Lupi) Grady said – it’s bringing our best to the situation,” Anderson said. “And I think that our best has not yet been brought, but this is not to speak against 1107 but rather to speak to the need to refine 1107.”

Board member Sonya Williams agreed that refining HB 1107 would be preferable, and said the board should take a more active role in doing that work because they understand best the needs of the school system.

“I think in order for us to be proactive, I think we need to take the time between now and next session to determine what we want the House Bill 1107 to look like,” she said. “No one sitting outside this boardroom knows the details we review, approve, conversate on. So, no one can tell us what this House bill should look like. No one can tell us what the governance of this board should look like.”

On Jan. 31, in a 6-1 vote, the county council approved a letter to the House and Senate delegations stating the council takes no position on 402-17. Councilwoman Andrea Harrison was the dissenter, and Councilmembers Mel Franklin and Karen Toles were absent. The council arrived at its position while meeting as the Rules and General Assembly committee last week, but members held individual, and strong, opinions in spite of the consensus.

A major point of dissent was the statement in the draft letter that the board’s composition prior to the enacting of HB 1107 was problematic.

“I disagree with the statement that there were ‘inherent problems with the former board’s composition.’ I don’t know where that’s coming from. That’s how the county board of education looked for years and years and years before it was temporarily replaced with a nine-member appointed board,” said Councilwoman Mary Lehman.

Lehman said the issue is with the board’s effectiveness, not its composition. Her colleague Deni Taveras disagreed, saying the prior system did not require the board members to have high-level degrees in the educational field.

“I do recall that there were a lot of problems with the fact that we were basically the laughing stock of the region in terms of the qualifications of the board that was in place,” she said. “I think that when we’re dealing with $2 billion worth of money, I think that people should expect some level of qualification, that they’re experts in their field.”

Harrison disagreed and said it was “snobbish, uppity, and judgmental” to say someone is not qualified for the board of education because of a lack of a degree. Lehman said more concerning to her was the fact that some board members did not have children in the school system they were overseeing.

In the end, the council agreed to some minor wording changes in their letter to the state. The letter as amended says, “We believe that a complete repeal would require some further discussion on the type of replacement or alternative. Simply returning the governance structure back to how it was prior to HB 1107 may not likely be the best approach to furthering systemic edification in (an) effort to increase student achievement.”

The letter also indicates the council supports another bill before the delegation, PG 416-17, which would create a task force to study school system governance. The council, according to its letter, feels that “any further changes to the board will require some type of intensive study of best practices.”

The council did request the timeline for the task force’s report be moved up, from Oct. 1, 2018 to Dec. 31, 2017, to coincide with the reporting required under HB 1107.

Although the letter has been sent, the council’s discussions with the delegation will continue. Council Chair Derrick Davis urged his colleagues to be precise in those conversations.

“When you talk to your friends on the Maryland state legislature, that you separate the things that we agreed upon from the things that you may feel as a specific and individual member,” he told his colleagues.

via sentinel

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Independent Inspector General & Audit for Park & Planning and WSSC:

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Del. Ben Kramer Democrat, District 19, Montgomery County introduced the bill to establish independent Inspector General for  M-NCPPC and WSSC

The bill to establish an independent Inspector General for M-NCPPC and WSSC is long overdue. It was introduced by Del. Ben Kramer (District 19) and was voted out of committee, although three of our representatives, Kumar Barve (District 17), Anne Kaiser (District 14), and Charles Barkley (District 39), voted no and did not want to see it get out of committee.

Recently, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III appointed Ms. M. Andree Green – as the new Director for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC). She gas no formal training or professional experience in planning to serve as the director of the Prince George’s County Planning Department. No other jurisdiction in the Washington region has made such a choice, and for good reason: such a decision defies common sense, and it likely contravenes Maryland law.

Attorney M. Andree Green (Checkley), of Upper Marlboro, began her tenure as Planning Director on January 18. She replaces Dr. Fern V. Piret, who retired after serving 26 years in that position. For the past six years, Green worked as the County Attorney for Prince George’s. Before that, she worked for approximately eleven years in the legal department of M-NCPPC, the quasi-independent state agency responsible for planning, zoning, parks, and recreation in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

It is our understanding both agencies are opposed to the new bill which is meant to create an independent Inspector General and they are not interested at some control and transparency. They are working either to kill the bill or water it down. Members of the County Planning Board have stated their difficulty with this effort at transparency, so MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD IN ANNAPOLIS!

The bill information is here. The bill is MC/PG 110-17.

Please contact your House and Senate representatives and tell them we need a strong independent Inspector General for these agencies and independent audits. At the moment there is no oversight and little transparency at these organizations.

Finally please contact Senator Mike Miller, President of the state senate has the ultimate say on whether a bill passes in the Maryland General assembly or not. He and others as part of the democratic regime in Maryland are in  control of many things including the manipulation of the state court system. His email is: thomas.v.mike.miller@senate.state.md.us.

To find your representative, go here.

Because local government matters too.

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Senator Mike Miller, President of the Maryland state senate has the final and ultimate say on whether a bill passes in the Maryland general assembly or not.

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Mr. Rushern Baker III appointed Ms. M. Andree Green – Prince George’s New Planning Director

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Ms. M. Andree Green – Prince George’s New Planning Director Is Not Actually a Planner. She began her tenure as Planning Director on January 18. She replaces Dr. Fern V. Piret, who retired after serving 26 years in that position.

>>> Read more Prince George’s New Planning Director Is Not Actually a Planner

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