Thursday, March 31, 2016

Calif. lawsuit targets company that installed turfs at 6 Montgomery Co. schools


Lawsuit Claims Rockville Mayor and Council Members Conspired to Craft Illegal Zoning Law to Block Self-Storage Facility

A self-storage warehouse company’s lawsuit over a City of Rockville zoning change that blocked it from building a facility near an elementary school is set for a May hearing in federal court.

Lawsuit Claims Rockville Mayor and Council Members Conspired to Craft Illegal Zoning Law to Block Self-Storage Facility

WTOP: Turf battle in California leads to questions in Montgomery Co.

[Note: We know the artificial turf field at Walter Johnson High School has been shredding for years.]

WASHINGTON — A turf battle unfolding in California has raised questions about artificial turf fields installed in Montgomery County. 

The county school system has been contacted by lawyers in California asking how artificial fields installed at three schools in 2009 and 2010 are holding up.

Attorneys Peter Lindborg and Irina Mazor, with Lindborg & Mazor LLP, represent California school districts in lawsuits alleging that artificial turf fields they bought from FieldTurf USA are falling apart and that FieldTurf USA knowingly installed an inferior product. 

The suit involving Bret Harte Union High School District, Chaffey Joint Union High School District and Crystal Springs Upland School alleges FieldTurf misrepresented the quality of the turf and knew — or should have known — the product would fail.

“What you’re looking at is fibers that break, fibers that split, fibers that lay down and won’t get back up, so that you have a slick smooth surface” instead of a field with fibers that stand up like real grass, Lindborg says.

Further, Lindborg says, because of the splitting of the fibers, after a rain “you will have clumps of busted artificial turf looking like [mowed] grass on the edge of the field. Artificial turf doesn’t grow back, last time I checked.”...

http://wtop.com/montgomery-county/2016/03/turf-battle-in-california-leads-to-questions-in-montgomery-co/

One-party delegations use loophole to evade Maryland open meeting law

The Prince George's County delegation in the House of Delegates will not meet Friday, but the Democratic caucus of that delegation will.

The membership of the delegation and the caucus are precisely the same. The difference is that where delegation meetings are generally open to the public, party caucus meetings are not.

Caucus meetings in counties with single-party delegations are a popular way for Maryland lawmakers to hash out local issues free from the prying eyes of the public. But the practice, defended by delegation members, raises red flags among advocates of open government.

"We're very concerned any time they use a loophole in the Open Meetings Act to avoid transparency," said Jennifer Bevan-Dangel, executive director of Common Cause Maryland.

It's a loophole that's available to only a few delegations. Most of Maryland's larger jurisdictions, such as Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties, have delegations that include Democrats and Republicans.

But Baltimore City, along with Prince George's, Montgomery and Charles counties, have all-Democratic delegations. Carroll County and some of Maryland's rural counties are all Republicans...

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/blog/bal-one-party-delegations-use-caucus-dodge-to-evade-open-meetings-20160324-story.html

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Student Member of Board of Ed EXEMPT from Ethics Requirements of Adults

Under the Montgomery County Board of Education Ethics Policy, the student member of the Board of Education is exempt from financial disclosures, including whether or not they receive gifts. 

Here is the section of POLICY BBB that student members of the Board of Education are exempt from following.  A full copy of Policy BBB ETHICS is below this text.
 ......................
FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE FORMS – BOARD MEMBERS AND CANDIDATES
1.This section shall apply to all Board members and candidates for the Board,
except for the Student Member of the Board.
2. Deadline for filing
a)
Board members shall file financial disclosure statements on or before
April 30 of each year for the preceding calendar year with the Panel on a
form approved by the Panel, under oath or affirmation.
b) Candidates to be members of the Board
(1)Except for an official who has filed a financial disclosure statement
under another provision of this section for the reporting period, a
candidate to be a member of the Board shall file a financial disclosure statement each year beginning with the year in which the certificate of candidacy is filed through the year of the election.
(2)A candidate to be a member of the Board shall file a statement
required under this section:
(a)In the year the certificate of candidacy is filed, no later than
the filing of the certificate of candidacy. This statement may be filed with the Board of Election Supervisors with the certificate of candidacy or with the Panel prior to filing the certificate of candidacy.
(b)
In the year of the election, on or before the earlier of April 30 or the last day for the withdrawal of candidacy, this statement shall be filed with the Panel; and
(c)
In all other years for which a statement is required, this statement shall be filed on or before April 30 with Panel.
(3)
Failure to file a statement
(a)
If a candidate fails to file a statement required by this section after written notice is provided by the Board of Election Supervisors at least 20 days before the last day for the withdrawal of candidacy, the candidate is deemed to
have withdrawn the candidacy.
(b)
The Board of Election Supervisors may not accept any certificate of candidacy unless a statement required under section G. has been filed in proper form.
(4)
Within 30 days of the receipt of a statement required under this
section, the Board of Election Supervisors shall forward the
statement to the Panel, or the office designated by the Panel or
Board.
BBB
12 of 22
c)
Appointment to Position
An official who is appointed to fill a vacancy on the Board and who has
not already filed a financial disclosure statement shall file a statement for
the preceding calendar year within 30 days after appointment.
d)
Resignation of Position
An individual who, other than by reason of death, leaves the Board of
Education shall file a statement within 60 days after leaving the office.
The statement shall cover the calendar year immediately preceding the
year in which the individual left office, unless a statement covering that
year has already been filed by the individual, as well as the portion of the
current calendar year during which the individual held office.
2.
Contents of Financial Disclosure Form for Board Members and Candidates
Board members and candidates must complete a financial disclosure form
approved by the Panel, under oath or affirmation disclosing the following
interests:
a)
Interests in real property
A statement filed under this section shall include a schedule of all interests
in real property wherever located. For each interest in real property, the
schedule shall include:
(1)
The nature of the property and the location by street address,
mailing address, or legal description of the property;
(2)
The nature and extent of the interest held, including any conditions
and encumbrances on the interest;
(3)
The date when, the manner in which, and the identity of the person
from whom the interest was acquired;
(4)
The nature and amount of the consideration given in exchange for
the interest or, if acquired other than by purchase, the fair market
value of the interest at the time acquired;
(5)
If any interest was transferred, in whole or in part, at any time
during the reporting period, a description of the interest
transferred, the nature and amount of the consideration received for the interest, and the identity of the person to whom the interest was
transferred; and
(6)
The identity of any other person with an interest in the property.
b) Interests in corporations and partnerships
A statement filed under this section shall include a schedule of all interests
in any corporation, partnership, limited liability partnership, or limited
liability corporation, regardless of whether the corporation or partnership
does business with the school system or Board. For each interest reported
under this paragraph, the schedule shall include:
(1)
The name and address of the principal office of the corporation,
partnership, limited liability partnership, or limited liability
corporation;
(2)
The nature and amount of the interest held, including any
conditions and encumbrances on the interest;
(3)
With respect to any interest transferred, in whole or in part, at
any time during the reporting period, a description of the interest
transferred, the nature and amountof the considera
tion received forthe interest, and if known, the identity of the person to whom theinterest was transferred; and
(4)
With respect to any interest acquired during the reporting period:
(a)
The date when, the manner in which, and the identity of the
person from whom the interest was acquired; and
(b)
The nature and the amount of the consideration given in exchange for the interest or, if acquired other than by purchase, the fair market value of the interest at the time acquired.
(c)
An individual may satisfy the requirement to report the amount of the interest held under item 2.b)(2) of this paragraph by reporting, instead of a dollar amount:
i)
For an equity interest in a corporation, the number of shares held and, unless the corporation’s, stock is publicly traded, the percentage of equity interest
held; or
ii)
For an equity interest in a partnership, the
percentage of equity interest held.
c)
Interests in business entities doing business with the school system or
Board
A statement filed under this section shall include a schedule of all interests
in any business entity that does business with the school system or Board,
other than interests reported under paragraph b) of this subsection. For
each interest reported under this paragraph, the schedule shall include:
(1)
The name and address of the principal office of the business entity;
(a)
The nature and amount of the interest held, including any conditions to and encumbrances on the interest;
(b)
With respect to any interest transferred, in whole or in part,
at any time during the reporting period, a description of the
interest transferred, the nature and amount of the consideration received in exchange for the interest, and, if known, the identity of the person to whom the interest was transferred; and
(c)
With respect to any interest acquired during the reporting period:
i)
The date when, the manner in which, and the identity of the person from
whom the interest was acquired; and
ii)
The nature and the amount of the consideration given in exchange for the interest or, if acquired other than by purchase, the fair market value of the
interest at the time acquired.
BBB
d) Gifts
A statement filed under this section shall include a schedule of each gift in
excess of $20 in value, or a series of gifts totaling $100 or more, received
during the calendar year from or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any one person who does business with the school system or Board. For each gift reported the schedule shall include:
(1)
A description of the nature and value of the gift; and
(2)
The identity of the person from whom, or on behalf of whom,directly or indirectly, the gift was received.
e)
Employment with or interests in entities doing business with the school
system or Board
A statement filed under this section shall include a schedule of all offices,
directorships, and salaried employment by the individual or member of the immediate family of the individual held at any time during the reporting period with entities doing business with the school system or Board. For each position reported under this paragraph, the schedule shall include:
(1)
The name and address of the principal office of the business entity;
(2)
The title and nature of the office, directorship, or salaried employment held and the date it commenced; and
(3)
The name of each school system or Board unit with which the
entity is involved as indicated by identifying one or more of the
three categories of “doing business,” as specified in the Definitions
section of this policy.
f)
Indebtedness to entities doing business with the school system or Board
A statement filed under this section shall include a schedule of all
liabilities, excluding retail credit accounts, to persons doing business with
the school system or Board owed at any time during the reporting period
by the individual or a member of the immediate family of the individual if
the individual was involved in the transaction giving rise to the liability.
For each liability reported under this paragraph, the schedule shall include:
(1)
The identity of the person to whom the liability was owed and the
date the liability was incurred;
(2)
The amount of the liability owed as of the end of the reporting
period;
(3) 
The terms of payment of the liability and the extent to which the principal amount of the liability was increased or reduced during the year; and
(4)
The security given, if any, for the liability.
g)
Employment with the school system or Board
A statement filed under this section shall include a schedule of the
immediate family members of the Board member or candidate employed
by the school system or Board in any capacity at any time during the
reporting period.
h)
Sources of earned income
(a)
A statement filed under this section shall include a schedule of the
name and address of each place of employment and of each
business entity of which the individual or a member of the
individual’s immediate family was a sole or partial owner and
from which the individual or member of the individual’s
immediate family received earned income at any time during the
reporting period.
(b)
A minor child’s employment or business ownership need not be
disclosed if the Board or school system does not regulate, exercise
authority over, or contract with the place of employment or
business entity of the minor child.
i)
A statement filed under this section may also include a schedule of
additional interests or information that the individual making the statement
wishes to disclose. 

Mount Sinai urges a moratorium on the use artificial turf generated from recycled rubber tires

MCPS is still using crumb rubber on it's plastic grass football fields.  Nothing has changed in Montgomery County.  

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

#MCPS Spends $39,413 in November '15 Fighting Families of Special Needs Students #NotFAPE #equityFAIL

Special Education Legal Expenses

Special education legal fees for outside counsel for November 2015 totaled $39,413.


The year-to-date total of $77,027 is $50,505 (39.6 percent) less than the same period
in the previous year. In addition, total year-to-date special education legal costs of $77,027
are $123,453 (61.6 percent) less than the budgeted amount of $200,480 through this time period.

.@mocoboe Spends $42,819 on Outside Counsel in December 2015 Fighting Families of Special Needs Children

Special Education Legal Expenses

Special education legal expenses for outside counsel for December 2015 totaled $42,819.


The year-to-date total of $119,846 is $38,653 (24.4 percent) less than the same period
in the previous year. In addition, total year-to-date special education legal costs of $119,846
are $120,730 (50.2 percent) less than the budgeted amount of $240,576 through this time period.

Councilmembers Want Test of County (Not MCPS) Artificial Turf Fields for Lead, Chromium, Cadmium and Phthalates

Council Members Call on County to Test Artificial Turf Fields for Toxic Substances:

...A spokesperson for Montgomery Parks couldn’t be reached Tuesday morning. Patrick Lacefield, a spokesperson for Leggett, said he was looking into the county’s response to the testing request.
According to the Parents’ Coalition, a group that bills itself as a watchdog of Montgomery County Public Schools, Parks officials did test its artificial turf fields at Blair High School and Wheaton Regional Park in 2013.
The group recently republished a February 2013 email from Mike Riley, now the director of Montgomery Parks, in which Riley reported the lead content in turf fibers at the Blair High School field was less than could be measured.
Riley also wrote the maximum lead content found in the Wheaton Regional Park field was 8.88 milligrams per every kilogram, “far less than the threshold of 400 [milligrams per every kilogram] established by [Maryland Department of Environment], and less than found in typical eastern U.S. surface soils.”

Superintendent Jack R. Smith Can Have Outside Employment

In the contract for the new MCPS superintendent we find that once again the contract allows for outside employment.  Parents might think that the job of the MCPS superintendent is full-time, but in actuality the job allows for outside, paid employment.  The MCPS superintendent, as has been shown by past superintendents, it really just a figure head position.  
MCPS has more than enough administrators to run MCPS without a full-time, actively engaged superintendent. 

The Superintendent may engage in other employment or professional activities for compensation during the term of this Contract, so long as said activities do not interfere with his official duties and only after prior written approval of the Board, with such approval not to be unreasonably withheld. The Superintendent may accept and/or earn honoraria or compensation for such outside activities.

Monday, March 28, 2016

In 2013, Parents' Coalition Made Public Lead in County Artificial Turf Fields. The Council Did Nothing.


In 2013, the Parents' Coalition asked about the lead levels of the artificial turf on County Park fields.  We received the information from the then Deputy Director of Parks, Mike Riley.

We made the information public in this blog post:  Lead Level Up 8 Times in New FieldTurf Artificial Turf

Below is the text from the original e-mail from Mr. Riley.  The County Council also received this information from Mr. Riley back in 2013.  Yet, today, Councilmembers are asking for the County artificial turf fields to be tested for lead, as if they have completely forgotten that testing was already done, and they have the results.

Yes, there is lead in the County artificial turf fields. There always has been, but Councilmembers and County Executive Ike Leggett have ignored this reality.

From: Riley, Mike [M-NCPPC Deputy Director of Parks Department in 2013]
Sent: Monday, February 04, 2013 4:53 PM


...The result for the lead in the turf fibers at Blair High School was <0.98mg/kg. This means the lead content was less than the lowest limit of analytical detection of 0.98mg/kg.
For the Wheaton Sports Pavilion, the maximum lead result on any component was 8.88 mg/kg, found in the NIKE GRIND infill. As this result was far less than the threshold of 400 mg/kg established by MDE, and less than found in typical eastern U.S. surface soils, Parks accepted the materials.
I trust this answers your questions.

Katz calls for better dialogue between Council, School Board on bus depot

ROCKVILLE – County Council member Sidney Katz (D-3) called for better communication between his colleagues, the city of Rockville and Montgomery County Public Schools about a possible new bus depot some local residents fear may cause traffic and noise problems.
During a Wednesday night town hall meeting he hosted at Beall Elementary School, Katz discussed the Shady Grove bus depot located at Crabbs Branch Way.
The depot is part of the property the county is selling for the Shady Grove sector plan. That depot holds approximately 400 buses.
Katz referenced the proposal to relocate about 100 of those buses to the front of the Carver Educational Services Center along Hungerford Drive, property owned by MCPS.
He said Montgomery College students use the space to park their cars.
“The bus depot is one of those issues that are an extremely difficult one,” Katz said.
Board of Education member Rebecca Smondrowski said the idea emerged from the team focusing on the relocation of the Shady Grove Depot. Smondrowski said this team includes people from the county government and the school district.
Several attendees at the town hall meeting asked Katz why he voted in favor of the depot.
“There are places where this is okay to do. I believe that the buses need to go somewhere, not there,” Katz said...

 http://www.thesentinel.com/mont/newsx/local/item/3279-katz-calls-for-better-dialogue-between-council-school-board-on-bus-depot

Superintendent's Evaluation Made Public

No, this did not happen in Montgomery County.  This happened in Baltimore City. 


Is the problem that Mr. Thornton has difficulty expressing himself, or is it that he has nothing to say?

In the self-evaluation that was part of his annual performance review last year, Baltimore City schools CEO Gregory Thornton frankly acknowledged that he hasn't been a very effective communicator. The malaise that has settled over the system he leads appears to bear him out. Gone is the sense of excitement and momentum for rapid reform that characterized the district just a few years ago. In its place is a sense of drift and lack of leadership at the top that would be fatal for Baltimore's reform effort if allowed to continue. The city school board must not let that happen...



Take a look at what the 10 page Evaluation document look like.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

NBC4: Money Schools Earn From Student Portraits Varies Widely

The amounts of money local schools earn through the sale of student portraits varies widely, according to an investigation by the News4 I-Team.
Similar-sized schools, often within the same school district, are cutting demonstratively different contracts with photography vendors, causing disparities and potentially burdensome work for school principals.
The I-Team, through a review of school photography contacts in Virginia and Maryland, found some school principals cutting more lucrative deals than others. Some secured signing bonuses, while others negotiated more generous commissions. The I-Team found local school districts, which use school portraits as a fundraising tool for individual schools, allow individual school principals to make contract agreements with portrait photographers. Even within the same school district, those principals hire a series of a different photography companies, and are permitted to set their own prices for the pictures...



http://www.nbcwashington.com/investigations/Money-Schools-Earn-From-Student-Portraits-Varies-Widely-369744951.html

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Board of Education Candidates Forum Tonight, 7-9pm Luxmanor ES


LUXMANOR CITIZENS ASSOCIATION
 
WITH COSPONSORS
GREATER FARMLAND CIVIC ASSOCIATION
AND
NORTH BETHESDA NEIGHBORHOODS
Invite You to a Montgomery County Board of Education Candidate Debate
 
Jeanette Dixon
Sebastian Johnson
Phil Kaufman
Gwendolyn Love Kimbrough
Brandon Orman Rippeon
Shebra Evans
Anjali Reed Phukan
 
Jordan Cooper, Moderator
Thursday, March 24, 2016
7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
 
Luxmanor Elementary School
6201 Tilden Lane
Rockville, MD 20852 
For further information contact Ed Farber


The forum will be held in a speed dating type forum, rather than the conventional face the audience address. After opening statements, each candidate will spend 10-12 minutes with small groups. There will be 7 groups, and the candidates will move from group to group, answering questions and discussing educational issues, before all gathering together again for closing remarks. The format allows for more intimate and in depth conversations.

Franchot: Some education bureaucrats don't believe in accountability & transparency. Well, I respectfully disagree.




...Because the current hearing process was set up through legislation, PSSAM asked the legislative leaders, both Democrats, to cut the Board of Public Works out of the process and let the Interagency Committee on School Construction make the final call on funding decisions.
On Wednesday, Franchot called the request an affront to transparency and an attempt to move hundreds of millions of dollars in school construction funding decisions to a little-known committee.

He said the letter was the “most offensive” he’s received in office.
The comptroller’s office followed up with a four-page letter to Alban, written by Chief of Staff Len N. Foxwell.
That letter questioned the wisdom of the superintendents’ decision to question two of three members of the board — Franchot and Hogan — who are also the elected officials.
“Irrespective of whatever nebulous political objectives may have been achieved with this letter, it is difficult to see how it satisfies the best interests of those who you and your colleagues have actually been hired to serve,” Foxwell wrote.
Much of the letter was directed specifically to Alban and Frederick County’s annual funding request, but the superintendent said the letter was a culmination of association members’ feelings that have been building for years.
“This wasn’t just this past year,” Alban said Wednesday, speaking on behalf of the association. “If we don’t try to do something to change, then we’re part of the problem.”
Alban said PSSAM voted unanimously[note: That would include MCPS - Larry Bowers.] to send the letter. She is unsure if the group will respond to Franchot and said it is waiting for responses from Miller and Busch.
The association’s next meeting is April 1, shortly before the 90-day General Assembly session ends on April 11.

MCPS Principals Use Fundraiser That Takes 48% Cut and $2,000 Fee

Boosterthon contract
MCPS Principals at the schools listed below apparently have been using an outside company to come in and fund their personal school slush funds.

The money raised by these local school fundraisers does not pay for teacher salaries, does not buy textbooks, does not fix toilets, and does not get students out of classroom trailers.  These funds are never accounted for in the MCPS Operating or Capital Budget documents.

The money raised through these local school fundraisers goes into the local principal's slush fund.  The money can be used for all kinds of things including travel, food, clothing, and gifts.  MCPS audits these accounts every few years, find improprieties, and moves on.  There are no consequences for improper use of this cash.

Apparently, this one particular company has convinced a number of school communities that it is worth it to pay them a $2,000 fee and then give them a 48% cut of any funds raised.


College Gardens Elementary
Fallsmead Elementary
Garrett Park Elementary
Lakewood Elementary
Ritchie Park Elementary
Stone Mill Elementary
Twinbrook Elementary
Wayside Elementary

Here's what the principal gets for the $2,000 and 48% cut of fundraising: 




 


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Council's Education Committee Deletes $11 Million in Plastic Grass Cash from MCPS Capital Budget #nobid #perksRus #AlwaysFieldTurf #lead

On Monday, March 21, 2016, the Montgomery County Council's Education Committee met to discuss a number of budget items related to Montgomery County Public Schools.  One of the topics discussed was the Board of Education decision to spend $11 million on plastic grass football fields while the needs of school buildings for repairs and maintenance remains high.

Apparently, the Montgomery County Council's Education Committee finally decided to notice that the Board of Education was once again directing Capital Budget money away from pressing health and safety needs of public school children, and was instead going to spend money on a no-bid luxury item unrelated to closing the achievement gap.

The Council's staff wrote the following statement with regard to the BOE's decision to divert $11 million to plastic grass. 


 http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/council/Resources/Files/agenda/cm/2016/160321/20160321_ED2-3.pdf

During the Education Committee's meeting, Councilmember Marc Elrich made a motion that the $11 million no-bid perk funding should be deleted from the MCPS budget so that the funds can be used for more pressing Capital needs.  The Education Committee voted 3-0 to support this motion.  This matter will now go before the full Montgomery County Council.


State BOE Appointed ACTING Interim Superintendent to Approve Interim Superintendent's Job as MCPS Superintendent

From a Montgomery County Public Schools press release we learn that the Maryland State Board of Education appointed an ACTING Interim MD Superintendent to approve Interim MD Superintendent Jack R. Smith's position as the new MCPS superintendent. 

Under the procedures for selecting county superintendents, the State Superintendent must approve of each new hire.  However, in this case, that would have put Jack R. Smith approving of himself.  Therefore, the State BOE appointed an Acting Interim Superintendent to approve of Jack R. Smith becoming the MCPS superintendent.    

...Given Dr. Smith’s current position, the Maryland State Board of Education appointed Dr. Karen Salmon on February 23, 2016, as acting interim state superintendent of schools for the purposes of approving Dr. Smith’s appointment to the Montgomery County position. Dr. Salmon sent a letter to Mr. Durso on March 7, 2016, approving Dr. Smith’s appointment as MCPS superintendent of schools.  The Board and Dr. Smith completed negotiations on the terms of a four-year employment contract on March 7...

Monday, March 21, 2016

Racial Disparities in MCPS Gifted Programs

...At the high school level, for instance, the report found an acceptance rate of 45 percent for white students applying to selective programs studied, compared with 39 percent for Asians, 23 percent for Hispanics, 19 percent for African Americans and 11 percent for low-income students.

Among younger children, enrollment in the district’s elementary centers for the highly gifted was 47 percent white, 34 percent Asian, 8 percent African American, 8 percent low-income and 4 percent Latino in the 2013-2014 school year, according to a research firm’s report to the county board of education...

 https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/maryland-school-district-examines-racial-disparities-in-its-gifted-programs/2016/03/21/1caacdf6-eb88-11e5-b0fd-073d5930a7b7_story.html

Another Bad Audit for MCPS. 2015 State Audit of MCPS Shows SAME Findings as in 2009.

Under Maryland law, public school systems are audited every 6 years by the Maryland State Office of Legislative Audits.  The first audit of MCPS was released in 2009.  One would think that the next audit would have been released in 2015, but as of today that audit has still not been made public.

But, thanks to the Board of Education's Legislative Aide, Patricia Swanson, we now know that the 2015 audit has been completed and that the State Auditors have made the same findings as they did back in 2009.

On February 9, 2016, Patricia Swanson told the Board of Education:
  • 2009 State Audit of MCPS listed "some concerns"
  • MCPS says 2009 Audit findings "were not founded"
  • 2015 State Audit of MCPS has "same findings"
What were those concerns in 2009, that MCPS administrators are now dismissing as "not founded?"

Below is the link to the 2009 Maryland State Audit of MCPS.  Read for yourself what the State Auditors found.  

It's a preview of what is to come in the 2015 audit, IF the 2015 audit is ever released to the public. 

2009 Maryland State Office of Legislative Audits report.



Sunday, March 20, 2016

In search of a new home . . . 100 MCPS Buses

Subject: COMMUNITY MEETING Re BUS DEPOT TUESDAY NIGHT 3/22



Hello friends, 
You may be aware that MCPS and the County Council have plans to place 100 buses on county property fronting 355 at Mannakee Street. The community is strongly opposed to this. Currently both BOE and the County Council are passing the buck to each other on this and residents are being left in the dark. 

You can find some background here:

http://www.rockvilleview.com/community-protests-bus-depot-at-carver

We are holding our first community meeting on this issue on Tuesday, March 22, at 7 p.m. at Mont
gomery College in classroom 216 in the Technical Center Building (TC), room 216. The TC building is in the rear left corner of the campus.  Parking will be allowed without permits in Student Lots 5,6,7, or 8 which are close to (and behind) the TC building.  You must park in one of those STUDENT lots and not in any Faculty/Staff lots.  The lots are shown on the map as well, highlighted in yellow. 

Thanks in advance.


Will Delegate Anne Kaiser Stop Warning Signs From Being Posted on Artificial Turf?

Currently, House Bill 883 is being held up in a subcommittee chaired by Montgomery County Delegate Anne Kaiser.  HB 883 would simply put the following sign on artificial turf fields in Maryland.  The cautions on the sign are based on CDC guidelines.


We know that the crumb rubber used in artificial turf football fields gets all over the players and all over anything on the field, including plates and drink containers.
Crumb rubber on plate on Blair HS artificial turf field

We also know that Delegate Anne Kaiser is concerned about her own safety when using artificial turf fields.  Listen to her question at the March 11, 2016, hearing on HB 883 in the video below.

She cares about her own safety, now to find out if she cares about the safety of Maryland children who also use artificial turf fields.  Will she let HB 883 out of her committee or will she kill the bill?