The People's Voice sent an email giving the final results of our petition asking the Board of Education not to renew the Superintendent's contract, and the shocking way in which they held a NOT "public" hearing to do so. We asked people to look at all the reasons one should NOT VOTE for the Board of Ed incumbents up for reelection this year: NO VOTE to Ann Delacy; NO VOTE to Ellen Flynn Giles; and NO VOTE to Janet Siddiqui. The reasons are outlined in this Better Board of ED petition. People are asking what it is, and why another petition?
First, it isn't a petition in the true sense of the word. We received numerous requests to edit the petition to take the next logical step - a request to DENY reelection to those who renewed Foose's contract. However, we felt it would be inappropriate to alter a petition that people already signed, many who chose to display their signatures. Thus, we started a new one, which really is just a nod to the petition signers, telling them what the next step is, and asking them to "sign up" to help our candidates. They may like different candidates. They may like ours. We hope everyone pays close attention to this election. Given that 59 cents of every dollar is controlled by the HCPSS leadership, this election affects the entire County and there needs to be accountability, whether one has kids in the school system or not. We all have money, and plenty of it, in this system. Also, all property values are affected by us having an excellent school system, and so we need to weed out people who are hurting it. These and many other reasons not to vote for the incumbents this year are noted in the Better Board of Ed link above.
We have also been asked how we chose our endorsed candidates for the Ethics Ballot. Our general endorsement criteria is on our site, and The People's Voice sent out a lengthy questionnaire to all of the candidates. Not a single incumbent responded. All non-incumbents did respond. Our Board of Directors reviewed these forms, reviewed campaign finance reports, and reviewed the candidates' campaign details. We went through a rigorous process to make our difficult decision, and decided on 4 candidates. You can ONLY VOTE FOR THREE in the primary and the general elections for Board of Ed. Thus, we provide biographical and campaign information, which you can review on our site. We felt it was too risky to choose more than 4, because we are concerned about diluting the anti-incumbent vote, something important to avoid. Depending on who makes it through the primary, we may add additional candidates to the Ethics Ballot for November.
Thank you for your consideration of our candidates, and please donate money or time to help them. We need a change! Check out our Ethics Stars for Board of Ed.
In case you missed it, check out the bipartisan agreement on the problems with this Board of Ed in the Baltimore Sun Article "Howard delegates unite around public criticism of county's school system." It contains incredibly strong quotes from Delegates Hill, Flanagan, Miller, and Turner.
Delegate Terri Hill
"It seems to me that they treat the public with absolute disdain, and then they go back to try to figure out how to manipulate within the system to treat them with disdain again."
"It's just really infuriating that the response we get from the school board as a whole is that there is no problem, and that the citizens and the rest of us must be imagining things."
"We spent years to build a class school system with hard work from school board members, teachers, parents, paraeducators, county officials, all up and down. And it is very upsetting to me to feel like we are somehow having to stand on the sideline and watch all of that melt away."
Delegate Warren Miller
"It is not normal activity for a board or public school system to do some of the things that they've been accused of."
"I hope that there is a change of spirit, both at the school board and public school system, to be more open. Until there is, I think we will all have to be more vigilant about looking out for our constituents."
Delegate Frank Turner
"If we filled our rooms full of administrators and staff, shut our doors and not allowed public testimony, do you realize the kind of criticism we would face here in Annapolis? It doesn't happen here. I don't expect it to happen in our county either."
Deletgate Robert Flanagan
"In Howard County, we have an issue to be resolved to restore public trust."