Every January, the Education Week Research Center grades the nation and states on educational performance, based on a range of key indicators. For 2016, Maryland finishes fifth among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, with an overall score of 82.8 out of 100 points and a grade of B. The nation as a whole posts a grade of C. Across the spending indicators, Maryland finishes with a letter grade of B (ranking tenth in the nation) compared with a national average of D. Yikes! More at Quality Counts 2017: State Report Cards Map at Education Week.
Following several staff complaints, NBCWashington investigated the travel expenses for Dr. DeRionne Pollard, the president of Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland. In addition to a $280,000 annual salary and $3,000 monthly housing allowance, the school’s Board of Trustees agreed to pay for all work-related travel for the president and her partner. That’s resulted in more than $70,000 for travel to Napa, California, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and almost 40 other destinations since 2013, an average of 13 trips per year, including $6,000 to upgrade seats, $3,700 for extra and overweight baggage, and stays at the Four Seasons. The college also pays for her $850 for her monthly lease for an Infiniti Q70, plus gas, maintenance, parking, and insurance, plus $10,000 per month for an SUV chauffeured by an off-duty police officer. Why all that travel to promote the school when it’s packed to the gills? Why promote it out of state when it’s a local community college? Why is the college president receiving such luxuries when most of her students are at the other end of the wage scale?
The League of Women Voters of Montgomery County, Montgomery County Council of PTAs, Montgomery County Branch of NAACP, and the Montgomery County Interbranch Council of AAUW (whew!) are hosting a Candidates’ Forum for the Montgomery County Board of Education on Wednesday, September 28 from 7:00-8:45 pm at Kennedy High School, 1901 Randolph Road in Silver Spring. For more information, visit lwvmocomd.org.
Tracie Potts of NBC4 will moderate the discussion among At-Large candidates Jeanette Dixon and Phil Kauffman, District 2 candidates Brandon Rippeon and Rebecca Smondrowski, and District 4 candidates Shebra Evans and Anjali Reed Phukan. If elected, these persons will not only be responsible for the education of children in the county but also more than $1 billion in taxpayer funds. Choose wisely!
In Montgomery County, a Board of Education district means a geographic area in which an elected member of the Board must live. In Montgomery County there are five resident-district members and two at-large members of the Board; however, all Board members are elected by the county as a whole.