Monday, August 31, 2015

How MABE Introduces No Bid Vendors to Boards of Education and Local School Systems .@MABE_News

MABE is the Maryland Association of Boards of Education.

MABE is a taxpayer funded private club for Board of Education members across the State of Maryland.  Taxpayers fund the club and get absolutely no information on how funds are used.  The funds paid to MABE each year are Maintenance of Effort public school education dollars.

In Montgomery County, our Board of Education spent over $70,000 on MABE last year.  That's about one less teacher for our classrooms. Apparently, this private club is more important to our Board of Education than teachers.

But, the $1.2 million +/- that MABE gets in dues and fees from Boards of Education is not enough to keep this private club going.  MABE's president, Frances H. Glendening, apparently needs more than what taxpayers fork over for this club.  So MABE has "partnered" with vendors looking for their own slice of the education pie (scroll down the right side of the MABE home page to see the partners).  MABE allows these vendors to have exclusive, behind closed doors access to Board of Education members all over the state.  Some of those vendors end up getting no bid contracts with public school systems. 

Below is an example of where a MABE "partner" was able to hold court with Baltimore County Public School administrators.  The vendor was able to make a presentation and then use that presentation on their website.  Even more outrageous, the vendor was able to get an endorsement from a Baltimore County Public School administrator to use on the website.

Members of the Maryland Coalition to Halt Cell Towers at Schools discovered this endorsement and were concerned that this was a violation of the Baltimore County Public Schools ethics policy.  Inquiries were made.  The web page was immediately taken down.  If Coalition members had not spotted the endorsement of this MABE "partner" by a public school administrator it could have remained on the vendor's website indefinitely.   

If anyone can find out why MABE thinks that vendor "partners" should have exclusive access to public school Board of Education members, please let us know.  Our inquiries to MABE president Glendening have gone unanswered.

January 2015 screenshot of now removed webpage.
This January 2015 tweet is still showing up on Twitter.

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