From Howard County schools reporter Joe Burris:

A Howard County study group formed by County Executive Ken Ulman to probe racial and geographic diversity on the county's school board is expected to finalize a report on Monday proposing that the board be changed from comprising seven at-large elected seats to five seats elected via district and two appointed seats.

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Among those voicing objections to the proposal is board member Cindy Vaillancourt, who said that she hopes Howard citizens voice their opinions to the state legislature, which must approve any changes to the board.

"I can see pros and cons to both the at-large and the by-district elected options, so honestly, I would not get any heartburn over leaving all seven positions at large or changing to the five elected by district and two elected at large," Vaillancourt said. "I am, however, one-thousand percent opposed to taking a step backward to making any seats appointed.

"It is a slap in the face to the citizens of this county to suggest taking away their right to vote for their own elected representation," Vaillancourt added. "In the end, this matter will be decided by our elected legislature and not a political committee."

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