NOTTINGHAM, MD—Delegates Joe Boteler and Rick Impallaria are looking to introduce legislation in the upcoming session to create an elected Superintendent for both Baltimore County and Harford County Public Schools.
“Having watched how our public schools have been run over the last decade, we see that it is time for a change. Superintendents should be accountable to not only the parents but also to the citizens who supply the money to run the schools,” explained Del. Impallaria. “The Baltimore and Harford County Superintendents have control over large budgets, comprising 50% of each county’s total budget,” he continued. “In contrast, our County Executives and Sheriffs are elected, both controlling budgets that are smaller than the school budget.”
Del. Boteler adds, “Our research has found that there are 13 other states which elect their superintendents. Our hope is that we can ask students’ parents and citizens of each County to participate in work groups over the summer to help draft this very important legislation. Many aspects have to be considered; there are different policies in each of these 13 states, and we want to find what will work best for us here in Baltimore and Harford Counties.”
The two representatives say that, over the past 10 years, citizens of both counties have been disappointed because of corruption and criminal prosecutions, and frustrated by the lack of empathy for the students, the parents, and the taxpayers. This occurs because the Superintendents are in no way answerable to the public that they serve, but as political appointees answer to politicians.
Dels. Boteler and Impallaria argue that this type of legislation will put school systems back in the hands of the public that funds it rather than the “failed system of nationwide searches, political cronyism, and failed results,” reads their statement.
“As we move forward, we will select times and dates when we can gather to discuss what posture this legislation should be in and to build momentum to pass this new look at how our schools should be run.”