If you want to run for the Baltimore County School board, tick tock. Tuesday night is the deadline to file to be a candidate for the county’s first partially elected school board.
At the last minute and after a plea for candidates, the races are becoming more competitive.
The potential is there for a total turnover on the county school board after the November election. With the exception of the student member, that is. The student member’s term begins in July. The others begin in December.
“It could turn out the student member of the board would be the one with six months experience when a whole new board comes on in December,” said board member Kathleen Causey.
Causey is one of two current school board members running so far. Causey said she’s running in part to keep some experience on the board during this transition to a partially elected board.
Seven of the 11 members will be elected in November, one from each council district. But just last week, not enough candidates had filed to fill all seven seats. Now, as the last day to file dawns, there are three council districts with only two candidates, which means those races would skip the June primary and go straight to the General Election in November.
Officials say it’s been hard to find candidates because school board members have to log long hours for no pay. Councilman Julian Jones put out a plea for candidates via email on Friday and four candidates entered the race yesterday.
Abby Beytin, the president of TABCO, Teachers Association of Baltimore County, said they are recruiting people with experience in education to run in each district. Beytin said they want to make sure the next board gets what it means to be a teacher.
Beytin said, “We want a school board, for instance, that knows that a teacher has to wait four hours very often to go to the bathroom because they don’t have a break.”
County school employees can’t serve on the board, so the union has been talking to retired educators, as well as teachers who live in Baltimore County but work across the county line.
The county elections board office is staying open late, until 9 p.m., for any last minute filings.
As for the four appointed seats, the deadline to file for one of those is March 16th. Those appointments will be made by the governor.