Balto. Co. hybrid school board bill passes state Senate

Legislation to add elected members to the all-appointed Baltimore County school board cleared the state Senate on Thursday.

Under the amended House bill, which passed the Senate 34-9, the school board would have six elected members and five members appointed by the governor, said state Sen. Bobby Zirkin. The Pikesville Democrat had sponsored a Senate measure to create a partially elected school board.

The County Council would draw election districts in consultation with the county school board, he said.

Later Thursday, the Baltimore County House delegation approved Senate changes to the legislation, Zirkin said. The House of Delegates could vote on the proposal as early as Friday. The House and Senate would have to work out differences before the legislative session ends Monday.

Advocates for an elected school board say it would make the panel more accountable to the public, but opponents have raised concerns about issues including minority representation on an elected board.