I have received confirmation that the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) has disbanded the current Ethics Panel and HCPSS is currently seeking new citizen members to sit on the panel.

Here is the announcement for new members from April 17th:

HCPSS Seeks Citizen Members for Ethics Panel, Apply by May 8, 2020

The Howard County Board of Education is seeking citizens to serve on the Howard County Public School System’s Ethics Panel.

The Ethics Panel oversees the school system’s Ethics Regulations, advises the Board on matters related to conflict of interest and financial disclosure, and provides advisory opinions to employees on the applicability of the Ethics Regulations to specific situations. A complete copy of the Ethics Regulation is available online.

Any Howard County resident at least 18 years of age is eligible to serve on the Ethics Panel. Candidates cannot be an employee of the school system, an HCPSS student, an incumbent member of the Board, or an owner or individual employed by an entity doing business with the Board. Appointees serve a five-year term.

Howard County Citizens interested in serving on the Ethics Panel are asked to send a letter of interest and their resume to the Office of the General Counsel at Kimberly_Clare@hcpss.org.The deadline for submission is May 8, 2020.

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The Ethics Panel consists of five members, who are residents of Howard County and are appointed for staggered five-year terms by the Board of Education. I wonder how they will “stagger” the 5 year terms if they are filling all of the seats at one time?

I find it a bit interesting that the HCPSS announcement does not include the fact that the current panel has been disbanded and all members will be replaced. I also find it interesting that this fact has not be discussed in the recent Howard County Board of Education meetings. No announcement or discussion (that I have seen).

I am betting this MPIA request might have something to do with what has happened:  Mentioned in a Howard County Public School System MPIA request in April 2020. Read the entire article and it will give some context to why this might have happened.

An email sent to the school system has not been returned on this topic as of this post but I do have confirmation from various other sources. If I do get a response I will add it to this post.

If interested in serving on this panel…be sure to submit your application by May 8th.

Have thoughts on all of this…let me know in the comments.

Scott E

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