It did not take long for the Howard County Board of Education (HoCoBOE) members to have a controversial vote…it happened in the very first meeting of the new board on December 7th. The following motion “Move the Board direct the Superintendent to make a reopening decision based on metrics and operational capacity, which is currently at the beginning of the fourth quarter but could change based on metrics.” failed in a 4 to 4 vote.
- Motion by Vicky Cutroneo, second by Christina Delmont-Small.
- Final Resolution: Motion Fails
- Yea: Vicky Cutroneo, Christina Delmont-Small, Yun Lu, Chao Wu
- Nay: Jennifer Mallo, Jolene Mosley, Antonia Watts, Zachary F Koung
Tune into the video at the 2:20:15 mark of the HoCoBOE video for the discussion. It was not a short discussion (went on to the 3:12:54 mark of the video).
A telling point to me in the discussion was this statement from the Superintendent early on in the discussion (taken via speech to text – sorry for any misspellings or run on sentences):
- I am troubled by the date of April 14 that becomes to me a random date that is not dictated by the metrics that’s just coincides with the end of the third quarter in and I understand that I mean I understand in terms of that decision but what if we find ourselves in a position in March where we’re able to do things before that that should not preclude us from doing that and I would come to the board I need to have the flexibility to come to the border make that recommendation regardless of what that vehicle is but I know that’s what you’re all saying because I would not want to be put in a position where we’re finding ourselves ready a month in advance we’re not doing anything because of that particularly artificially set date because it coincides with the end of the third quarter we develop the metrics they are scientifically developed in that they were intended originally to guide the decision making without any hard date put on to that as far as a ending point so I’m asking the board once again for that flexibility to review and not get caught up in a hard fast date because it could go beyond that and we have to have that flexibility.
The next big hurdle for this board and school system will be coming up with a in person / hybrid model that everyone agrees with in the near future. Maybe that moves the needle on these votes to return students prior to the 4th quarter (if that is possible given the data). I hope to see that topic (new model) on agendas in the VERY near future.