Allegany School Board’s Focus: Funding and Process

As reported by the Cumberland Times-News, the Allegany County Board of Education recently announced its legislative priorities for the coming year which include seeking state financial assistance for security personnel that the Board placed in area schools and a determination on whether an official from the Allegany County Commission, who occupies an ex-officio non-voting seat on the Board, has the right to be present during the Board’s closed-door executive sessions.

The BOE hired three retired Maryland state troopers over the summer to act as full-time school safety officers costing the board more than $150,000 annually.

“I think the state needs to take some responsibility and provide some financial support,” said Mike Llewellyn, board member. . .“I think the funding for security should be independent and not linked in any way to our normal funding.”

The Board would also like the state to make a ruling on whether the official from the Allegany County Commission, who occupies an ex-officio non-voting seat on board, has the right to be present during the BOE’s closed-door executive sessions, including discussions of personnel issues and funding negotiations.  The current ex-officio county official is Bill Valentine.

“We have already had a ruling from the office of the attorneys general that the ex-officio has the right to attend the executive sessions,” said Valentine. “It’s written into law. The ex-officio has the right and duty to attend the executive sessions.”

Valentine said if there is something that will be a conflict of interest the ex-officio could excuse themselves.

Commissioner Valentine also serves on MACo’s Legislative Committee and Education Subcommittee.

For more information, see the full story from the Cumberland Times-News.

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