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Hogan appoints former Howard County state lawmaker to Maryland school board

Gail Bates served as a state lawmaker between 2002 and 2018. She lost her bid for re-election to Democratic newcomer Katie Fry Hester last November.
Gail Bates served as a state lawmaker between 2002 and 2018. She lost her bid for re-election to Democratic newcomer Katie Fry Hester last November. (Monica Lopossay/Baltimore Sun)

Gov. Larry Hogan has nominated former Howard County state senator Gail Bates to the State Board of Education.

If confirmed by the Senate, she will serve as a board member until 2024.

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Bates served in the House of Delegates between 2002 and 2010 and in the Senate between 2014 and 2018. She served District 9, which includes parts of Howard and Carroll counties. In November she lost her bid for re-election to Democratic newcomer Katie Fry Hester.

In the past two years, the number of exams taken by Howard students increased by nearly 800, from 10,541 exams in 2016 to 11,331 exams in 2018, according to data released by the school system Tuesday.

Bates, a Republican from West Friendship, said in an interview that she would “bring a unique experience” to the school board position.

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She noted that she dealt with education policy while working in the House of Delegates and Senate, and as a former teacher. For the past 15 years, Bates has served as a “judge” for a simulated congressional hearing in fifth-grade Howard County classrooms.

“I have a broad perspective,” she said. “I’m looking forward to bringing that hands-on experience to the state board.”

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