HB0590-2019 (Howard County Board of Education – Election of Members Ho. Co. 01–19) passed 47 – 0 in the Maryland State Senate on March 28th. This bill passed in the House 137 – 0 back on March 12th. For those that do not remember…here is the summary text of the bill:

Requiring that certain members of the Howard County Board of Education be elected by the voters of certain districts and certain members be elected at large by the voters of the county; and applying the Act to the election of the members of the Howard County Board of Education for the term of office that begins December 7, 2020.

Here is a quick history of what has happened year after year for this bill:

  • 2016: Bill introduced and killed at the local level
  • 2017: Bill introduced again and changed and passed to elected HoCoBOE members (5 of them) by councilmanic district but by countywide vote. The other two are elected at large by countywide vote.
  • 2018: No action taken on this bill
  • 2019: Bill reconsidered to elect (the 5 up for reelection in 2020) by district vote (the way it should be) and not countywide vote.
    • It passes in the House and Senate unanimously.

I want to give a shoutout to Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary for sticking with this through the years. It was a struggle…but worth it. You are the champion of the bill and I congratulate you on this win.

I also want to give a shoutout to Delegate Warren Miller for supporting fixing this legislation…not just this year…but also in years past (nice to see bipartisan support for bills in the county).

I have been following this issue on the blog for many years and I am happy we got the legislation to where it is today. The hope has always been that this will open up opportunities for more qualified candidates and provide representation from each district in the county on the Howard County Board of Education (current make up of the board is: D1 – 2 members, D4 – 4 members and D5 – 1 member).

The 2020 HoCoBOE election will be even more interesting now. Five seats up for election…five HoCoBOE members from two districts will be up for reelection…so we should see a new batch of candidates in 2020 that will be running in districts looking for district votes.

Howard County Board of Education candidates generally get into the races late so I am not expecting any announcements in the near future.

I believe there are a NUMBER of issues that may drive the next election:

  • Redistricting
  • Portables
  • Budget
  • School Start Times
  • High School 14
  • Transparency and Communication

I look forward to the 2020 election and watching what the current HoCoBOE members decide to do as well as what new candidates get into this race. I have some ideas of for some great candidates (some that have run in the past and some potential new ones).

This also give me the opportunity to continue my ongoing joke (and yes, I am totally kidding) of the future campaign slogan of “ScottE for HoCoBOE in District 3 in 2020!”. It is kind of long…but totally works. LOL.

Have thoughts on future candidates for HoCoBOE…let me know in the comments.

Scott E

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