Live chat with Washington County Public Schools Superintendent Betty Morgan - transcript

September 21, 2005

The Herald-Mail will present a live chat with Public Schools Superintendent Betty Morgan starting at 1:00 pm and ending at 2:00 pm today. Questions or comments can be submitted by clicking here before and during the chat.

The text of the live discussion will flow into the bottom of this page during its live hour. You can either click "Refresh" on your browser window or hit "F5" on your keyboard to see new responses. Make sure you scroll down to see the latest answers.

Name: Arthur Baugher

Location: Cascade

Guest: Morgan

Question: My son is 4 years old. I signed him up for preschool at smithsburg. My question is, why does my income affect my sons education? He was denied because I make too much money. I don't make too much money, I make enough to get by. We work hard everyday and can't afford a private school. How fair is this that 2 hard working parents can't get there son a jump start when others can. I have send several emails and had no response, I really want to hear your take on this. Thank you


Morgan: The State provides funding for the prekindergarten program and specifies certain guidelines that have to do with income and a student's ability to qualify for free and/or reduced priced meals. Other students who do not meet the income requirements are allowed to participate as space allows. If you would please email me directly at my school system email, I would be pleased to personally follow up for you.

Name: J udi


Guest: Morgan

Question: Why would the counsilor at Wmspt. High School want to put a child on home instruction that is trying to cover his classes and spend a full day at school. Why also would she pull him from a class to put him in resource for 2 hours when he has begged to stay in the class and her reply is "she knows how he feels, she has had the same illness-No she hasnt

Morgan: I would prefer not to discuss this online since there could be some privacy issues involved. Please email me at my school system address,, and give me more detail to follow up.

Name: steve graven

Location: Hagerstown

Guest: Morgan

Question: how come washington county schools are not up to speed in special education programs. kids with learning problems.

Morgan: I am surprised at your question because we have people who purposely move here to have benefit of our special education programs. I'm not sure what you mean by "up to speed," but I can share Maryland State Department of Education test data that indicate our special education students are performing among the highest in the state. Now if you're referring to lack of programs or facilities for students, that may be another issue because as you may know, we are very overcrowded in our schools right now. We do want to expand programs as the budget allows. For example: We just added our first autism classes but we know that we need more in order to serve our students well. If you would contact me via email I would pleased to talk to you individually about your specific concerns and see if there is any solution to the issues you raised.

Name: Moquit

Location: Hagerstown

Guest: Morgan


1. What is being done about improving the Wash Co school system? Resources? Teachers?

2. What are you doing to bring better more qualified teachers to Wash Co school system?

3. How are you addressing the limited enrollment space for Head-start/Pre-K and K?

4. How does a community address the school system as to which school district it has been assigned to? (Hamptons of Brightwood should be either in Smithburg or Boonsboro - R. Hick & South High schools are not acceptable to the residents of Hamptons of Brightwood).

5. What are you doing to request greater funds for the school system from the county surplus of income from higher income residents and recordation of property taxes?

6. As a resident of Hagerstown, Washington County now - I am only going to accept higher standards and better teachers in Washington County School System. How long do you see before these changes will be seen in Washington County School System?



I look forward to your responses and would like to request a phone conference with you to speak about these items and concerns that Washington County School System has not meet with the changes in its county.

The Herald-Mail Articles