The State Board of Education is looking for a few good men -- and women -- to help preside over the proposed reorganization of Baltimore's public schools.
A transition committee is seeking nominations of Baltimore residents to serve on the new Board of School Commissioners that is to be appointed this spring in accordance with a consent decree that settled disputes between the city and state over school management and funding.
The deadline for nominations had been set for today, but likely will change.
"If we see we don't have enough qualified applicants, we will extend that date, with the approval of the [federal] court," said Anthony South, executive director for the State Board of Education.
"What we're telling people is, they can nominate somebody just by sending a letter" to the transition committee, he said.
"The intent is to get as many people as possible interested in making nominations of people they think would be desirable, or indeed of people submitting their own names if they'd like to be considered," said Walter Sondheim, a state school board member who is on the transition committee.
Each nominee must be a resident of Baltimore and must be at least 18 years old.
In addition, each applicant must possess at least one of four qualifications:
Be the parent of a child in the city public schools. At least one member of the board must fit this criterion.
Have served as a high-level manager in a large business, nonprofit group or government agency. Four board members must fit this qualification.
Have expertise in education. Three board members must meet this criterion.
Have knowledge or experience in the education of children with disabilities. One board member must possess this qualification.
An agreement reached Nov. 26 that settled three lawsuits provides for a restructuring of the city schools with a new role for the state and increases state aid by $254 million over the next five years. The agreement calls for the creation of a new school board with expanded power, including the ability to spend its budget without the approval of the Board of Estimates and the authority to hire and fire the chief executive officer and have direct responsibility for reforms in the city's schools.
The reforms are subject to the approval of the General Assembly.
The State Board of Education will select 18 names from the nominations and forward them to Gov. Parris N. Glendening and Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, who will jointly select the nine-member school board.
The new board will take office when the state budget bill containing Baltimore's education appropriation is passed by the General Assembly.
Pub Date: 1/13/97