The county education officer and director of the Office of Constituent Services have left County Executive Steve Schuh’s administration — one of them permanently and the other temporarily to do election volunteer work.
Education officer Amalie Brandenburg started Aug. 1 as deputy state superintendent of finance and administration within the Maryland State Department of Education. She is overseeing the department’s fiscal operations, according to a news release.
“I am proud of our undeniable progress our county has made in making our entire education system the best in Maryland,” Brandenburg wrote in a letter to The Capital. “I look forward to working with the county in my new role with the State Board of Education.”
Schrum leads the Office of Constituent Services, which often serves as first contact for residents with complaints.Constituent services director Nancy Schrum has been on an unpaid leave of absence since June 29 as she works for the Maryland Republican Party.
Party officials said she was hired to a paid job as a local campaign worker for the county. She is expected to work for the party through the election.
In her county job, Brandenburg focused on education policy and acted as a liaison between the school system and Schuh’s administration.
In her letter to The Capital, Brandenburg highlighted some of the administration’s success on education, including construction starting on the new Crofton High School and a land purchase program for future schools. She also lauded the administration’s work to give teachers four-step pay increases and a cost of living raise.
But the administration has still faced criticism from the teacher’s union on failing to restore pay increases to teachers who gave up raises during the recession. And some residents have admonished the administration for failing to hire enough teachers to prevent classroom sizes from growing.
The County Council found additional funding for 86 new teachers, about double what Schuh’s office initially proposed. But a final push to bring the number to 106 new teachers failed after Councilman John Grasso, R-Glen Burnie, was swayed by a resident while at Randazzo Park.
The resident asked Grasso to keep Schuh’s proposed property tax cut, which reduced homeowner bills by about $8 a year. Grasso obliged and voted against removing the cut, which would have added $8 million to the county budget and paid for another 20 teachers.
Schrum began work for the county in 2010 as legislative aide for Councilman Derek Fink, R-Pasadena.
She has supported Schuh since 2005 and has made modest donations to his campaign through this year.
Her largest donation was $550 on Sept. 27, 2016, according to campaign finance reports.