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Commissioner Howard Clarifies Position on Closing Schools, Education Funding

Commissioner Doug Howard makes his position clear in response to an article posted on Patch yesterday.

It appeared from the Patch coverage that it was not clear that I am opposed to the ultimatum being given to the Board of Education with regards to school closing or “maintenance of effort”. I was being critical of that approach.

If I was not clear in the way it was stated, I am in favor of the facilities study being done, but not for the pre-ordained purpose of determining to close a school.

I am also against “maintenance of effort” funding. I believe the $164 million level that was set with last year’s budget for FY14 is appropriate. And, while I am interested in seeing the ideas that come from the facilities survey, I am not in favor of closing schools just based on available seats. To make such a costly and disruptive move should only come if there is clear and compelling evidence of savings, those savings will be applied to education and the actions will not undermine our education system.

Doug Howard
President
Carroll County Board of Commissioners

Buck Harmon October 10, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Thanks for the clarification Doug, do you know Shoemaker's stance on this issue? He seems to be avoiding it for some reason...
Kelli Nelson October 10, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Commissioner Howard, thank you for clarifying your position. While I too am interested in options that may come from a true study, the current "Utilization Study" being conducted at this time is anything but a "study". The process began at the end of a school year, included one meeting of its "committee" over the summer and one very, very questionable "survey" which was in no way scientific or written in such a way as to gather ideas on unbiased feedback from the community. I hope that at some point, before finalization of the FY14 budget, cooler heads prevail over this process and we stop using our kids and a wonderful school system as pawns in a political chess match.
I. DeFeo October 10, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Thank you for the clarification. We have to move cautiously with our schools and think long term for the future of our children and this county.
Buck Harmon October 10, 2012 at 11:04 PM
Are you following your own post here Doug?
Arya Stark October 11, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Thank you for your clarification. Please continue to be an advocate for our schools on the Board of Commissioners. I am troubled by the "...or else" and other threatening language we keep hearing from the BOC regarding this facilities study and the education budget.
JoeEldersburg October 15, 2012 at 03:19 AM
Sounds to me like Howard is the only one who is going stick up for the schools, at least in his district, but he's fighting a bunch of people whose minds were long ago made up. Schools have teacher's unions and unions support government growth, so they must be curtailed at all costs according to Tea Party doctrine. Though it's pretty doubtful that the BOE would take responsibility for the consequences of the stupid decision to build MVHS, it's pretty silly to think they would voluntarily close any schools without some fiscal duress. The fact still remains that irrespective of the fiscal pressure threatened against the BOE, it's the state who has the final say on all school closings, so why not let them study it, since they have experience in this area and Carroll County doesn't. The ridiculousness of the BOE's facilities survey showed quite evidently that they were over-matched by the job. Surely Rothschild's math genius can solve the county's educational budget dilemmas, after all he re-wrote the county's entire budget over a weekend. And let's not forget he's also mastered climate science, planning and environmental protection, as well. Come to think of it, maybe we don't need any outside experts, as long as we have Rothschild. Let's face it, he's already suggested two things which are bound to help the situation in vouchers and charter schools...what a true American patriot! Move over Ryan, Rothschild is the real Tea Party deal!
Buck Harmon October 15, 2012 at 01:03 PM
I feel much better now...

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