School board member reflects on education budget process [Letter]

Your editorial titled "Finance lessons" is on the mark when it comes to a shift in the dynamic on the school board, and its members likely taking a more high-profile role in running the school system as we transition to a majority elected body. Since becoming one of the first elected members of the school board I have privately encouraged and publicly championed a philosophy of increased involvement by my Board colleagues to become more engaged in the decision making processes of the school system.

The editor is right to criticize the budgetary practices and tactics of the previous superintendent, which I had also publicly challenged. However, I would disagree with the editors' broad brush approach when it comes to criticizing the entire Board over efforts at fiscal constraint. In each budget cycle that I have participated I have offered numerous amendments, ranging from a few thousand to millions of dollars, to either eliminate unnecessary spending or reallocate funds within the budget to areas that best serve the needs of our core responsibility - the classroom. Inasmuch as the Board works on the democratic principle of majority rule some of those amendments were adopted and others not.

As you note this is an election year. It is easy to assume the actions of a group are supported by all members; however, we know this is usually not the case. I strongly encourage the public to examine the individual record of Board members before going to the polls, and then vote accordingly.

Bob Frisch


The writer is member of the Harford County Board of Education seeking re-election.

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