Baltimore County Board of Education Delays Vote on Changes to Facilities Use Policy
School board also elects new officers.
After five months of debate, members of the Baltimore County Board of Education moved Tuesday to further study proposed changes to the school system's facilities use policy.
The issue has been before the school board since February when county residents spoke out in opposition to the policy because strict enforcement had banned events like PTA craft fairs and long-standing community events from being held at public school buildings.
At Tuesday's meeting, board members received a spreadsheet of more than 60 comments on the issue.
The board's policy committee had reviewed the policy known as Rule 1300 in the past few months and changes were brought back to the entire board in June. After the proposed changes were introduced, members of the public were invited to give feedback to the school board during board meeetings or in email through the system's website.
Some parents who were there to testify at the meeting Tuesday said they are concerned that any further delay will jeopardize events planned for the upcoming school year.
Leslie Weber, the past president of the PTA of Loch Raven High School, said that because the policy is still in limbo some applications for events that were denied will have no chance of appeal unless the changes go through.
"Summer is planning time for PTAs," she said.
Board members said they needed more time to digest all of the feedback from the public in order to make the right revisions to the policy.
Also at Tuesday's meeting, the board recognized past members Earnest Hines and Meg O'Hare, whose terms ended this month. New members Michael J. Collins and Cornelia Bright Gordon started their terms on the board.
The board also elected new officers, with Lawrence E. Schmidt being elected as president and Valerie A. Roddy being elected as vice president. Schmidt was elected unanimously and Roddy was selected over James E. Coleman, who was also nominated for the position.