School board questions plea for performance audits

November 11, 1993|By Katherine Richards | Katherine Richards,Staff Writer

The Carroll County Board of Education last night rejected Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy Jr.'s explanation of why he plans to ask the county's legislative delegation for a state law that would give counties the right to impose performance audits on their school systems.

Several board members questioned Mr. Lippy's motives at the session, the board's first evening meeting since 1986.

"I think it has to do with power, and I think it has to do with votes," said John D. Myers Jr., the board's vice president. "I truly believe you're doing this . . . primarily for what is popular with the voters."

Board President Carolyn L. Scott said that in Prince George's County, when County Executive Parris Glendening initiated a performance review of his county's school system, the final report recommended that the county executive appoint the school superintendent.

"Is that what you're interested in?" she asked Mr. Lippy.

Mr. Lippy said he was not.

"I'm doing this because I think it's right," he said. "Surely we can find places to save."

Board members said a performance audit already is planned for the system's transportation, food service and personnel functions.

Mr. Lippy, who requested similar legislation last year but was turned down, said he is proud of the county's school system and that he trusts its board.

He said he disagrees with an opinion issued by the state Attorney General's office that says school boards do not have to submit to requests for performance audits unless they wish to do so.

Also last night, the board unanimously adopted a change in its policy on child abuse and neglect. The policy was amended to say school personnel may not date "or interact sexually" with any student.

The board voted unanimously to change the name of the Carroll County Education Center to Carroll Springs School.

During the public comment period, two mothers of students who are preparing to graduate from the Carroll County Education Center asked the board not to transfer a full-time job coach there to other duties.

Pat DeBoy, of Eldersburg, said her daughter, Jennifer, 20, has Down syndrome and is being prepared for a job by her job coach.

"Eliminating this program by eliminating a full-time job coach is committing a crime against our children," she said.

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