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Calls Mount for Change, More Diversity on Kirwan Accountability Board

September 29th, 2021 by WCBC Radio

More state and local officials are calling on Sen. Paul Pinsky to reverse course and add more diversity to the Accountability and Implementation Board (AIB), which will be charged with implementing the new Kirwan education overhaul statewide, and overseeing tens of billions of taxpayer dollars.

Sen. Pinsky’s plan calls for representation from residents from just four of the state’s 24 jurisdictions and only from Central Maryland: Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Montgomery County. This plan means no Latino representation, in addition to no representation from Prince George’s County, Western Maryland, the Eastern Shore, or Southern Maryland.

There has been a sustained bipartisan outcry, including from Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, the Maryland Legislative Latino Caucus, the Senate Republican Caucus, and the House Republican Caucus, as well as Sen. Michael Hough, Sen. Mary Beth Carozza, Sen. Jack Bailey, and Sen. Paul Corderman.

Yesterday, more letters from state and local leaders came out calling for more diversity on the board:

  • Caroline County Commissioners: “The Caroline County Commissioners are profoundly dissatisfied with the nominations submitted by AIB for your approval and for the Senate’s confirmation. We stand firm in our belief that the lack of cultural and geographical diversity will not only be detrimental to the State as a whole, but to the students in our schools.”
  • Del. Kathy Szeliga: “The AIB Nominating Committee is required to select nominees that reflect the geographic, racial, and gender diversity of the state.  The current nominees are from only four jurisdictions out of 24.  Clearly, there is not adequate geographic diversity. And the current racial makeup of the AIB nominees are not reflective of Maryland's population either.”
  • Del. Wendell Beitzel: “It has come to our attention that the entirety of Western Maryland has been neglected based on the announced nominees. … This is an issue raising extreme bipartisan concern as several groups are tremendously underrepresented by the current candidates, which aforementioned hold tremendous responsibility affecting the entirety of Maryland’s student population. It is inexcusable that none of the five jurisdictions that make up Western Maryland have a representative nominated for the board.”