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Possible Conclusion to Foote Hearing Process Next Week

October 17th, 2019 by WCBC Radio

A process that began just before Christmas last year could come close to a conclusion next week as the Maryland State Board of Education is set to hear brief oral arguments in the case to remove Wayne Foote from the Allegany County School Board. It is not known at this time if the state board, at its Tuesday meeting, will take action following the hearing or whether or not any public announcement will be made at that time. Foote is facing charges of misconduct and willful neglect of duty. The local board on December 21 last year voted on a resolution asking the state board to remove Foote. In February, the  State Board charged Foote and an administrative law judge later concurred with that decision. Tuesday’s brief oral arguments are the final part of the process before the board can vote. Foote has directed most media inquires for comment to his attorneys during the process- but he did talk recently with WCBC News about what he says has been a trying time for his family. He has been critical of the former board which voted on the resolution just a week before the new board was to be sworn in…

If Foote is removed, it could lead to a significant shakeup and change to the dynamics of the board, possibly shifting the majority. For the better part of this year the board has been split routinely voting on key issues 3-2 with Foote joining David Bohn and Robert Farrell in a voting block majority- against members Deb Frank and Tammy Fraley. Foote’s removal could also prove interesting with the newly appointed permanent Superintendent Jeff Blank. His appointment was approved two weeks ago by a 3-2 vote- but the contract has to be approved by the board in public session. That has not yet occurred. Failing to approve the contract could lead to a search for the next superintendent, which is what Fraley and Frank argued for at the last session.

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