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Association represents Board of Education

January 28, 2007|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

The Hagerstown and Washington County governments are part of a lobbying coalition, but the school board is not.

Washington County Board of Education member W. Edward Forrest said the board already is represented well in Annapolis through the nonprofit Maryland Association of Boards of Education.

The board belongs to MABE, which has its own lobbyists in Annapolis on behalf of the state's 24 public school systems.

Forrest said the board's concerns at the state level tend to be broad, such as school construction and teacher pensions. MABE also can zero in on local issues if a county school board requests it, he said.

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Washington County and the City of Hagerstown also belong to legislative associations, such as the Maryland Association of Counties and Maryland Municipal League, that advocate for their members in Annapolis.

At the same time, the Washington County Board of Education does have its own lobbyist, for a narrower purpose.

Ardath M. Cade of The Cade Mason Group in Severna Park, Md., is lobbying for funding for the planned Barbara Ingram School for the Arts in downtown Hagerstown, school board spokeswoman Carol Mowen said.

Cade was paid about $8,000 to $9,000 last year out of a state grant for gifted and talented programs, Mowen said.

Cade, the wife of former state Sen. Jack Cade, ran as a Republican for state comptroller in 1998.

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