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An unearned excuse from Verletta White

Gov. Larry Hogan expressed concern Thursday about a Sun investigation showing that interim Baltimore County school superintendent Verletta White worked as a consultant for a company that promotes education technology firms without disclosing the payments to the school system or the public, Her predecessor as superintendent, Dallas Dance, also failed to disclose income the same company says it paid him in 2014 and 2015, county records show. (Erin Cox/Baltimore Sun video)

The Baltimore Sun reported earlier this month that Baltimore County Public Schools interim superintendent Verletta White failed to disclose the payments she has received since 2013 as a consultant for the Education Research & Development Institute or ERDI. In a recent article regarding an ethics complaint filed against Ms. White, The Sun again noted that "The Baltimore Sun reported last week that for four years, White worked as a consultant for a company that promotes education technology firms without disclosing the payments to the school system or the public. White repeatedly filed required county disclosure forms stating she earned no outside income while working as the school system's academic officer" (“Ethics complaint filed against Baltimore County school superintendent Verletta White,” Nov. 15).

The head of the school system teaching our children doesn't know the meaning of earned income? Let me help. Earned income is income derived from active participation in a trade or business, including wages, salary, tips, commissions and bonuses and includes any income that a person or company receives for work they have done. Ms. White said failing to disclose the income was an "honest mistake.” She said she “didn't think of a consulting fee as earned income" but she noted that she did report the income on her tax returns.

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Huh? Her fees weren't earned income on county disclosure forms but they were on tax returns? First, Dallas Dance, now Verletta White. Same mistake? Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on all of us.

David Gosey, Towson

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