HB 1299 (Howard County Board of Education – Elected School Board Ho. Co. 11-17) passed in the Maryland Senate yesterday by a vote of 45 – 1. The final vote information is not yet up on the website but I can guess who voted against it. I will update this post when I see the final voting roll. Here is a link to the history of the bill (CLICK HERE).
Delegate Atterbeary tweeted out this at 8:40pm yesterday:
Delegate Atterbeary has been the champion of this legislation for two years and I am happy for her that this finally passed (even though it is not yet exactly what we all wanted).
For those that are interested in what this really does:
Right now all 7 members of the Howard County Board of Education are elected as “At-Large” by county wide vote.
In 2018: 4 seats are up for reelection. The two candidates that get the most votes will get 4 year terms. The candidates receiving the third and fourth most votes will get two year terms.
In 2020: 3 seats are up for reelection as well as two candidates from 2018 that received the third and fourth most votes (so 5 total seats). Each of these five seats will be elected by councilmanic districts in Howard County. Each winner of these seats will receive 4 year terms. Per the current legislation, each member is elected by county wide vote (this is what needs to be corrected before 2020 – each SHOULD be elected by district vote).
In 2022: Two seats are up for reelection. These are considered “At-Large” and both are elected by county wide vote.
In 2024: Five seats are up for reelection by councilmanic district.
OK…you get it now…that will be the rotation going forward…
Here is the good stuff about this legislation:
- The Board of Education will have representation from each councilmanic district (something we do not have today).
- The candidates running by district will run on opposite schedules from the County Council members – taking away the opportunity to run on a “slate” between the County Council and the Board of Education.
Here is the bad stuff about this legislation:
- In 2020 and going forward, those candidates running in districts will be elected by county wide vote. This is the piece of legislation that needs to be corrected ASAP.
(If I don’t have this correct…let me know and I will correct it).
There is some history in past articles on my blog on this topic that you may find interesting. You can read those here:
I will make one last request of Delegate Atterbeary or any other State Delegate or State Senator…bring this legislation back in 2018 to correct the voting by district issue. First off, it is the right thing to do. Secondly, before the 2018 elections for State Delegate and State Senator, we need to know where each member officially stands on this issue. It may not make it through the Howard County delegation but we will have on record before the election those that support common sense local elections here in Howard County.
With my kid graduating in May and now setup to attend Hood College in Frederick this fall (still doing the proud dad happy dance about that), I may not write as often about Howard County Board of Education topics. So I am off to looking for new things to focus on in the future.
Everyone have a great day.