A behind-the-scenes battle is being waged over the future leadership of the Baltimore County School Board, leaving it fractured.
The board met for more than two hours in closed session Tuesday night, convened a relatively brief open meeting, and then went back into another closed session that lasted until after midnight, with no decision.
And it all had to do with picking a chairman for the coming year, which the board is legally required to do at its first meeting in December.
WYPR has learned that the current board chair, Kathleen Causey, has only five of the seven votes she needs to get reappointed.
Another board member, Cheryl Pasteur, has six votes.
The voting is further complicated because there is a vacancy on the board. Roger Hayden died in October. Hayden’s replacement is not expected to be named until March or later. A county nominating commission will forward two candidates to Governor Hogan, who will choose Hayden’s replacement.
Sources say Causey has alienated some members of the board by not being transparent and by making unilateral decisions. Causey did not reply to a request asking for comment. However, supporters of Causey were speaking out on social media Wednesday, saying she and Vice Chair Julie Henn had brought accountability to the school system and deserved another term.
The county school board’s first December meeting technically is in recess. It plans to go into closed session yet again on Thursday to try once again to pick its leadership.
It is unclear what would happen if the school board is not able to break the logjam and pick a chairman Thursday. The board needs to select a vice chair as well.