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Baltimore County needs an elected school board

The failure of Baltimore County's state Senate delegation to approve a bill calling for elected members on the county board of education is a setback for those of us who favor public accountability.

The importance of such accountability is amply demonstrated by the board's arrogance in approving construction of an elementary school at Mays Chapel Park. This action was taken in spite of strong community opposition and without proper consideration of the many substantive issues raised by opponents of the project.

The opposition of Sens. Kathy Klausmeier and Ed Kasemeyer to the bill would be comical if it were not so serious. Senator Klausmeier wants to insulate the board from politics, despite the fact that the un-elected members of the board have caved to pressure from the county executive.

Senator Kasemeyer purportedly wants to give the county's new school superintendent time to put his policies in place, even though the bill doesn't call for elected board members until 2016.

We are thankful to the four senators who voted to approve the bill, and we can only hope that the House of Delegates will act on this issue — and that certain senators will reconsider their ill-advised actions.

Paul Lang, Timonium

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