On Feb. 11, the Harford County Council of PTA (HCCPTA) Board of Directors submitted a letter to the Harford County Delegates requesting that our delegation consider holding public comment before voting on House Bill 283. While we appreciate that the delegation has decided to postpone the vote on the bill this week (pending public feedback), without appropriate communication with the Harford County citizens, it is our belief that this is still not an adequate timeframe to hear from the residents of Harford County.
Since 2009, the population of Harford County has grown and the mix of residents has changed. The HCCPTA board believes that all Harford County citizens should be allowed a publicly advertised forum where our community can share their thoughts/perspectives on the proposed amendment change.
We also are advocating for those individuals who may wish to serve on the Board of Education but would be ineligible as a result of the proposed amendment. There has been discussion about how the cost to run for Board of Education, if this bill is adopted, could limit Harford County members in the community.
There may also be limitations to Federal employees interested in seeking a Board of Education position as a result of the Hatch Act. A large portion of our community is employed by Aberdeen Proving Ground and partisan politics on the BoE could disqualify these individuals from being able to serve.
The HCCPTA Board of Directors wants to ensure that the community is aware of the proposal. We also want to give Harford County citizens the ability to share their recent-and-relevant thoughts/concerns with our Harford County Delegation as it relates to this amendment to House Bill 283.
Thank you for your time.
A. RENEE DeBIASE
The author is the president of the Harford County Council of PTA.