Howard schools' chief operating officer accepts state job

November 03, 2006|By John-John Williams IV | John-John Williams IV,sun reporter

Howard County's chief operating officer confirmed yesterday that he will leave the school system in January to work for the state and oversee distribution of special-education funding for Baltimore City public schools.

Raymond Brown, a former assistant state superintendent who has worked in Howard County for six years, will become a member of the state's Intensive Management Capacity Improvement Team, or IMCIT. Brown will oversee special-education finance.

His duties will require him to monitor how special-education funding is dispersed to meet federal and state mandates. He will be one of eight administrators assigned to Baltimore by the state and will report to Carol Ann Baglin, assistant state superintendent for special education.

"It was not an easy decision to accept this opportunity," Brown said. "It's something that I wrestled with."

Special education has remained a point of contention in Baltimore for the past 22 years, since a special-education lawsuit was filed on behalf of students by lawyers against the city and state. In Aug. 2005, a U.S. District judge ordered the state to send managers to oversee all city school system departments affecting special education.

"Sometimes when you look back on your life, you want to say I've done something to really help," Brown said. "I think with my skills, I can provide support to the Baltimore City school system."

After an eight-year stint as assistant state superintendent for business services from 1989 to 1997, Brown was controller for Montgomery County schools from 1997-2001.

He was director of operations for Howard County schools from 2001-2004 and deputy superintendent/ chief administrative officer in Harford County schools for six months in 2004 before returning to Howard County as the chief operating officer.

Brown will begin transitioning into his new position next month and will take over full-time Jan. 1.

Colleen A. Duffy, an assistant principal at the Chesapeake Bay Middle School Regional Program in the Anne Arundel County school system, also has been assigned to work with the state Office of Special Education.

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