The Baltimore County Public Schools community shouldn’t expect new board members until after the budget season that wraps up by the end of February, according to the governor’s office.
The county board of education has four appointed members whose terms have already expired but are staying on until the governor appoints their replacements.
“To avoid making decisions that could disrupt that time-sensitive [budget] process, the Appointments Office and the Board’s Nominating Commission have agreed to hold on new board appointments until after that time,” said Carter Elliott, press secretary for Gov. Wes Moore, in an email on Tuesday.
The system’s nominating commission has already pushed forward eight names to the governor’s office, and Moore is expected to choose four from the bunch.
Cindy Sexton, president of the Teachers Association of Baltimore County, was not concerned by the wait. She’s also chair of the nominating commission, but said she could only speak as head of the teachers union.
“We’re in the middle of the budget process,” she said. “They [new board members] would have a lot of learning to do.”
Board chair Jane Lichter agreed, calling the process “lengthy and complex” with a “steep learning curve.”
The budget process kicked off Jan. 10 when Superintendent Darryl Williams introduced his proposal to board members. Members vote to adopt the budget Feb. 28.
The board is also tasked with finding a new leader for the system following Williams’ announcement that he wasn’t returning after his contract expires June 30. The search for a new superintendent started last week.
“We are confident that we will have a board in place in time to support the superintendent search,” Elliott said.
Sexton said not having new board members this early in the search process is OK. She suspects they’ll be in place by the time of the search.
The current 12-member board has seven elected members and a student member in addition to the four appointees. Although the terms of the four appointed members — Erin Hager, Russell Kuehn, Moalie Jose and John Offerman — expired back in December, they all agreed to stay on until they were replaced. The new appointees will be chosen by the new governor, who was only inaugurated two weeks ago.
Sexton pointed out the county board members aren’t the only officials Moore needs to appoint. He has a long list, many of which need approval by the state senate while the Maryland General Assembly is still in session.