Arundel school board to review rule on contracts after questions are raised


The Anne Arundel County Board of Education decided yesterday to review a local policy that gives the superintendent authority to grant certain contracts, regardless of size, without consulting the board.

This week, board member Michael McNelly questioned the school system's granting of a $395,000 contract to the Florida-based National Institute for School and Workplace Safety for a safety assessment of the county's 117 schools. School officials said they did not seek board approval because it wasn't required.

"There have been a lot of concerns from the community on this issue," McNelly said at yesterday's school board meeting. "I think we are obligated to ask questions."

McNelly questioned why the institute won the contract when it was only the second-lowest bidder, and he expressed doubts about the firm's experience with large jobs.

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