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School board decisions shouldn't be driven by the political winds [Letter]

An elected Baltimore County school board has been a hot issue for decades, and The Sun has opted to support a partially elected board ("Balto. Co. should have a hybrid school board," March 17).

Your rationale is that "the desire for elected members on the school board in Baltimore County has been consistent for so long that it cannot be ignored."

But as a former legislator I think that is not a good enough reason. What is lacking is any consideration of how an elected board benefits children's education.

Calls for elections heat up when a school system decision angers a segment of the community. The assumption is that an elected board would have produced a different result.

The electorate is diverse due to its geography. There is and east side of the county and a west side, and Catonsville is a world apart from Dundalk. How sympathetic are the folks in Essex to a Pikesville High renovation when they have competing needs?

Elections are subject to the political winds. The current winds are charter schools, anti-public employee unions, home schooling and a tea party approach of keeping government out of our lives.

So who will win an election? Will it be the person who is best qualified to make educational decisions? Or will it be the one with the most money to send out multiple mailings, robo calls and lawn signs?

Theodore Levin

The writer was a member of the Maryland House of Delegates from 1975 to 1995.

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