Delegate Reid Novotny introduces legislation to ensure that a Student Member of the Board may not be the deciding vote on any issue

The following is from Delegate Reid Novotny (District 9A representing Carroll and Howard Counties):


Exactly one week ago at 10:15 on 13 January 2021, I had the greatest honor of my professional career to be sworn into office to represent the people of District 9A, Carroll and Howard Counties.

Like many of you, my wife and I are juggling working outside of the house and supporting our nine year old daughter, while she attends virtual Howard County public school.

With that said, I am deeply saddened by the gridlock within the Howard County School Board with respect to deciding on virtual, hybrid, or in person school.

To give back the decisional authority vested into the School Board by the voters of this county, I have introduced House Bill 1789 to ensure that a Student Member of the Board may not be the deciding vote on any issue.

This will not remove the Student Member of the board’s ability to vote and will allow the elected school board members to work on behalf of the students in all our great counties in Maryland.

Gridlock is for Washington not for Maryland and especially not for Howard County.

I look forward to working with my fellow Delegates to ensure the quick passage of this resolution. I would appreciate your support in this endeavor!


Reid J. Novotny, State Delegate, District 9A

Scott E


  1. Rather than taking away the vote from the student member, please add one more board member at large, so there won’t be the issue of a tie vote


  2. I agree Joanne Locke- add another board member. The students need a voice that counts- adults making decisions for soon to be adults does not always work. Students are the ones who will be returning to overcrowded schools in our county and apparently this vote for NO was thought out by this student. Its a difficult time for sure but please let the student voice count!


  3. Impressive work Mr. Novotny.

    Thank you for listening to your constituents regarding the unacceptable gridlock within the HoCo BOE. I was particularly impressed with the line “Gridlock is for Washington, not for Maryland and especially not for Howard County”.

    Mathematics and common sense should prevail here. Do the math. When a Board has 8 members, there is a 36% chance of ANY motion passing, when there are seven, there is a 50% chance. Numbers take emotion out of any situation and allow common sense to prevail.

    How can anyone be ok with constant gridlock and no forward movement? How can anyone be ok with a Student Member, prohibited from voting on budget and personnel, being allowed to vote on school re-opening plans during a pandemic…let alone being a deciding vote?

    This isn’t about squashing a student’s voice, it’s about common sense. Thank you Reid Novotny for putting forth legislation to help the Howard County Board of Ed and Superintendent Matirano properly function.


  4. Delegate Novotny has been a member of the Maryland House of Delegates for what, a week? And already he is my favorite member of the Maryland legislature. Thank you so much for this legislation. This is not about politics. This is about common sense. It makes no sense that a child, who legally cannot make health decisions for himself, who cannot legally consent for something as simple as getting his teeth cleaned at the dentist, is able to make decisions that affect the mental health and wellbeing of tens of thousands of people.


  5. ” This is not about politics. This is about common sense. ”

    Please do not require our state legislators to have ‘ common sense ‘ . They might do something correct.


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