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Officials react to removal of school board's power

February 15, 2002

Officials react to removal of school board's power



By LAURA ERNDE
laurae@herald-mail.com


ANNAPOLIS -Some Washington County elected officials were troubled that the Maryland House of Delegates voted Thursday to strip another county's elected school board of its power.

The House voted 94-29 to shift power from the Prince George's County School Board to an appointed oversight committee.

Lawmakers from Prince George's County said the school system is facing a crisis that can't wait until the November election. Most of that county's legislative delegation supported the measure.

Washington County lawmakers were split down the middle on the issue.

Del. Christopher B. Shank, R-Washington, Del. Louise V. Snodgrass, R-Frederick/Washington, and Del. Joseph R. Bartlett, R-Frederick/Washington, all voted against the bill.

"What happened today sets a very dangerous precedent," Shank said.

"It's a direct attempt to thwart the will of an elected school board," Bartlett said.

Three local lawmakers supported the bill, saying they felt compelled to back the Prince George's County lawmakers.

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"If we were standing up here asking this body to agree with the majority of our delegation I would expect the same courtesy," said Del. John P. Donoghue, D-Washington.

Del. Robert A. McKee, R-Washington, said this gives the county a chance to get a handle on some very serious problems.

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