Category Archives: BOE

School Board Primer

I think this primer is helpful for understanding the basic structure of school board.

What is a school board’s most important responsibility?

The most important responsibility of school boards is to work with their communities to improve student achievement in their local public schools. School boards derive their power and authority from the state. In compliance with state and federal laws, school boards establish policies and regulations by which their local schools are governed.

Your school board is responsible for:

  • employing the superintendent
  • developing and adopting policies, curriculum, and the budget;
  • overseeing facilities issues; and
  • adopting collective bargaining agreements.

– See more at:

What makes a school board effective?

Effective School Boards:

  1. Commit to a vision of high expectations for student achievement.
  2. Have strong shared beliefs and values about students’ ability to learn and of the system and its ability to teach all children at high levels.
  3. Are accountability driven.
  4. Have a collaborative relationship with staff and the community.
  5. Are data-savvy.
  6. Align and sustain resources to meet district goals.
  7. Lead as a united team with the superintendent.
  8. Take part in team development and training.

– See more at:

I believe I can be an effective school board member. 🙂

Extremely Low HCPSS School Bus Utilization Rate for one school

The average ridership per bus is 24.32% on 10 school buses for a specif school. This is the rate I computed from data that some parents shared with me. The data was collected by bus drivers. Assuming the bus is a 72-seat bus. So I can see there is a potential and need to increase our school bus utilization rate. This can partially address the later high school start time initiative which I strong support.

A school by school bus utilizatiom rate will be more helpful. I will request those data from HCPSS and have a look.

school bus ridership rate

HoCo Board of Education Election reform from 2018

Some key changes to BOE election, starting from 2018 thanks to Scott Ewart for his timely update. His original post:

Right now all 7 members of the Howard County Board of Education are elected as “At-Large” by county wide vote.

Going forward:

In 2018: 4 seats are up for reelection. The two candidates that get the most votes will get 4 year terms. The candidates receiving the third and fourth most votes will get two year terms.

In 2020: 3 seats are up for reelection as well as two candidates from 2018 that received the third and fourth most votes (so 5 total seats). Each of these five seats will be elected by councilmanic districts in Howard County. Each winner of these seats will receive 4 year terms. Per the current legislation, each member is elected by county wide vote (this is what needs to be corrected before 2020 – each SHOULD be elected by district vote).

In 2022: Two seats are up for reelection. These are considered “At-Large” and both are elected by county wide vote.

In 2024: Five seats are up for reelection by councilmanic district.

OK…you get it now…that will be the rotation going forward…

Possible 2018 HCPSS funding crisis

Some parents sent me emails about canceled programs at our public school. While I am sitting at the HCPSS 2018 Operating Budget Review Committee, I feel there is a school funding crisis coming soon. The approved budget from the county for FY 2017 is 562 millions,  however, the proposed FY 2018 request from the county is 622 millions, which is  10.7% increase, a total of 60 million dollars.

I heard the county government will not be able to fund all 60 million extra dollars over FY 2017, probably at most 7-8 million dollars(hope I am wrong here !). Maybe the zero-based budgeting process should be revisited. Or more programs will but cut, the class size keeps growing, etc.

What is a good budget process and reasonable spending growth? I would like to hear your comments. Or it is how it works: you ask for a huge number and expect you will not get all.


HCPSS superintendent is suing her boss


Dr. Foose is suing the BOE board as a whole and board member individually. She was hired before last year’s election. Three new elected board members are new to her.

CA board member Reg Avery is a witness in the lawsuit. He is also the president of PTAC.

It is 49 pages. I am not sure how they can continue to work together after the lawsuit. That is the worst for our children.


Joined HCPSS operating budget review committee

I joined the HCPSS operating budget review committee. This committee was picked up again when the new BOE board started their first meeting. The budget book is huge, 601 pages. The budget can be downloaded at

I am sitting in a subcommittee focusing on Fixed Charges, Central Office staff, Diversity and the Freeze Committee with Lisa Markavitz, Corey Andrews and Terry Dennison.

I am looking for your feedback in these areas. Please leave me a message or email me.






An overview on the budget: