McCabe drops proposal for school year He wanted voters to OK any year-round education

January 31, 1996|By Howard Libit | Howard Libit,SUN STAFF

Sen. Christopher J. McCabe has withdrawn his bill to require voter approval before Howard County schools could switch to year-round education, eliminating one of the most contentious disputes between the legislative delegation and the school board.

Last month, the school board rejected year-round education in Howard, which had been proposed as a way to limit construction of new schools. Members said they believed there would be enough money for construction to meet projected enrollment increases without the calendar switch.

But Mr. McCabe, a Republican representing Ellicott City and western Howard, initially refused to abandon his bill, saying that the issue of year-round education could come up again. His position antagonized school board members, who said legislators should leave educational decisions to them.

"Inasmuch as the board has made a commitment to the citizens of Howard County by their vote on this issue, the necessity of this measure is not as critical," Mr. McCabe said in a statement issued last week.

"However, the issue will not automatically go away despite this vote. In the spirit of good faith, I have decided to withdraw the legislation at this time, but I am prepared to reintroduce this measure if this issue ever becomes viable."

Chairwoman Susan Cook said the board is "pleased that he has withdrawn the bill."

"We still believe the legislature should not be making educational decisions, and by removing the bill he has shown us that he understands our position," she said.

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