If schools aren't broken, why fix the Board of Education?

Letter to the editor

October 04, 2011

At the county executive's July 25 town hall meeting some residents voiced concerns about the Board of Education's lack of racial and geographic diversity. However, they never intimated that they were not well-served by the board's current makeup.

Howard County's schools are the best in the state; our current board-selection process must be working well. The proposal to make five board members district-based and two others appointed is a mistake.

Of importance to me is that I be represented by those who share my principles. Those candidates would not necessarily live in my district. Voters with specific concerns (e.g. principles, a candidate's cultural, economic or ethnic background) can best achieve their aim by pooling their votes with like-minded voters countywide.

Also of importance is that the board not become divisive, with members focused only on the schools in the district they represent. We should not try to achieve "proper" balance via "districtization" and executive appointments. To provide the most choice and diversity, voters should continue to choose the entire board.

Also of concern is that the current proposal is designed to hinder the re-election of a specific board member, Allen Dyer. Mr. Dyer was elected by people who have had many years to learn his principles and methods. Limiting the people's choice in favor of executive appointments is wrong.

Diane Juray

Long Reach

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