White issued the following statement on Wednesday afternoon:
Dear BCPS Family,
I regret to inform you that the State Superintendent has declined to approve me as the permanent superintendent for Baltimore County Public Schools. The State Superintendent has stated that she believes that the ethics review panel’s findings cause her “concern,” and has indicated that the lack of an audit is another matter that prevents her from providing her approval “at this time.”
The State Superintendent appears to be unaware of the fact that the audit, one that I have been advocating for throughout this school year, was intended to review our system’s purchasing practices under past administrations. There has never been any indication that procurement practices of my administration lack integrity.
I firmly believe that an audit will show that our procurement practices are above reproach. I also believe that the allegations raised by some concerning my character have been based on speculation and not fact. To that end, I am releasing the ethics review panel’s decision in this matter. In the past, I have been hesitant to release the full decision, as it is a part of my personnel record and confidential. However, given the apparent conclusions made by the State Superintendent, I am taking the unusual step of releasing the report, which is attached.
I have, from the outset of my appointment last year, expressed my desire to be appointed as permanent superintendent. That desire has not changed. As of December 2018, the local board of education will be, for the first time in Baltimore County’s history, both elected and appointed. This major shift in the school system’s leadership is another reason for my desire to remain as superintendent to provide stability and continuity.
I have also attached the State Superintendent’s letter so that the BCPS family has the full text at its disposal. (Note that the State Superintendent’s legal authority is found in the Education Article in §4-201, not §7-201).
Please accept my sincere appreciation for your support and encouragement this year. As always, let’s continue to stay focused on highly effective instruction for all students in BCPS.
Editor’s note: NottinghamMD has not received a copy of the report in question.
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz has released the following statement in response to the State Superintendent’s decision:
“Larry Hogan has a troubling pattern of playing politics at the expense of children’s education. He’s created turmoil over the school calendar and the school construction process. Now he directs his schools chief to take the unprecedented step to overturn the judgment of the local school board who knows Superintendent White best. He’s shameless!”