February 15th, 2012 by WCBC Radio
On Tuesday, February 14, 2012, at the Board of Education’s monthly business meeting, all five members and the superintendent of schools publically read and signed a resolution opposing HB 335, Education – Public Secondary Schools Near Boundary of Two Counties, or any other bill or amendment which erodes its authority to administer the Allegany County Public School System. The school board also recently sent letters to both members of the Western Maryland Delegation and the Allegany County Board of Commissioners requesting that they oppose the bill or any similar legislation or amendments as well.
The issue surrounding Allegany County students attending an adjoining county’s school system was legally acted upon by the Board of Education in 2011. Challenges to their decision to phase out the school choice program were made to the Maryland State Board of Education and in Allegany County’s Circuit Court. Each respective body upheld the school board’s decision.
The Board of Education firmly believes that this is a decision vested with the elected school board, which is given legal authority by state statute and should not be a matter for the state legislature. Allegany County Public Schools were cut approximately $5.3 last year and face another substantial cut this year. They feel that it would be irresponsible to permit the interests of a few to impose a greater financial burden on the students remaining who must absorb whatever budgetary cuts may be necessitated.
The school board feels that “this bill is divisive, confusing to students, and prolongs the anxiety of students not knowing which school they will be attending and further delays their acclimation to schools in Allegany County.”