An End to the Era of Appointed School Boards

Legislation passed in the Maryland General Assembly’s 2017 Session will convert the County’s school board from appointed to elected. The county was one of the last fully appointed school boards in the State.

A bill that will convert Anne Arundel County’s School Board over to a fully elected school board passed the Maryland General Assembly on Sine Die, the final day of the legislative session.

Baltimore County, Baltimore City and Wicomico County have also recently altered their School Board selection process to include elected members. According to information from the Department of Legislative Services, the statewide landscape of school board selection processes has been shifting as jurisdictions with appointed boards move to elected membership, or partially elected membership. For more information, see this fiscal note and Anne Arundel, Wicomico School Board Selection Changes May Be Decided in November on Conduit Street.

County Executive Schuh supported passage of legislation to convert the Anne Arundel School Board to an elected, rather than appointed Board. Photo courtesy of Anne Arundel County.

As described in the Capital Gazette, the Anne Arundel School Board will now be entirely elected,

The bill they [the General Assembly] passed Monday creates an eight-person board made up of seven members elected by councilmanic district and one student member of the board. The measure prevailed over a competing proposal for a hybrid board, which suggested electing seven members, appointing three and preserving the student member’s seat.

The Capital quotes the County Executive sharing his support for the bill,

Schuh, a Republican, called the bill’s passage “an incredibly exciting and satisfying moment” that would result in more accountability of board members to Anne Arundel voters.

“Many of us have been pushing for an elected school board for a decade, and to see it now becoming a reality is wonderful news for Anne Arundel County,” he said. “Everything has its time, and the time was now — when everybody came together and saw the wisdom of it; that it’s a better way to govern our school system.”

For more information, see Anne Arundel elected school board bill passes the General Assembly from the Capital Gazette.