Carroll school board slow to act on report critical of system

April 20, 2000|By Jennifer McMenamin | Jennifer McMenamin,SUN STAFF

As a grand jury expands its inquiry beyond school construction and into possible misspending in the Carroll County school system, the county board of education has yet to meet to discuss the problems they are charged with correcting.

In the three weeks since the release of an independent report highly critical of school construction projects, board members have talked only briefly and by phone about their school system's woes with board president C. Scott Stone.

One board member, Susan W. Krebs, said she has not been called back when she's tried to reach her colleagues to discuss the report.

"We just paid $200,000 for a report and for what? So we could read it and embarrass the school system?" Krebs said yesterday. "If we do nothing with this report, we might as well just burn the $200,000 we spent on it."

Since the 100-page document -- prepared by former U.S. Attorney Richard D. Bennett and a team of lawyers and former FBI agents -- was released March 27, the school board has met publicly and privately on several other matters.

Stone said that although the board had not planned a time to talk about the report, he is trying to schedule a closed-door discussion for it by the end of the month.

And they've met publicly at their regular monthly meeting to adjust redistricting plans, approve a grading contract for the new Westminster-area high school and accept a schedule from superintendent William H. Hyde for analyzing and respond to Bennett's report.

At that meeting, where a school board candidate, a school's PTA president and the president of the Carroll County Council of PTAs spoke about the report, the five school board members said nothing.

Contacted yesterday, each had a different story as to why the subject has not come up.

Stone said that although the board had not yet planned a time to talk about the report, he is trying to schedule time for a closed-door discussion by the end of the month.

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