Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Video: Board Silent on Pollution at RMHS, Superintendent calls Pollution "Distraction from Core Mission"

At the July 30, 2018, Montgomery County Board of Education meeting Superintendent Jack Smith had MCPS COO Andrew Zuckerman read a statement about the removal of the artificial turf field at Richard Montgomery High School.

Board of Education members had no comment on the 12 tons of artificial turf and crumb rubber sent to the Brunswick, VA landfill or the tractor trailer load of artificial turf and crumb rubber sent to a field in White Marsh, MD.  


Delivered by Chief Operating Officer Dr. Andrew Zuckerman on July 30, 2018 during the Board of Education Meeting for Business

We know that the Board received additional questions over the weekend regarding disposal of the artificial turf field material from Richard Montgomery High School (RMHS). First, let me assure you that the statements that we have issued on our website and in previous responses to elected officials are completely accurate.
Consistent with the clear policy direction of the Board of Education and consistent with the MCPS value of environmental stewardship, our contract for replacement of the RMHS field included a requirement that the existing field be recycled to the maximum extent possible. In this case, the entire field system, which includes the carpet and infill material, is being reused by a recreational facility in the White Marsh area and others outside of Maryland. Reuse is a core element of the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” approach to waste management. Product reuse is permissible under state and local regulations; prevents materials from being disposed of in the waste stream; and precludes the need for additional new materials to be generated.
In the RMHS field replacement project, as in any major construction project, debris was generated by the demolition. This debris represents a very small fraction of the full stadium field. As I stated on our website, “remaining debris left over from the removal of the turf field” was cleared. Management of construction debris is a specialized industry, and these materials are routinely transported to transfer stations, often in other areas of the country, for safe sorting and handling. Transfer stations identify materials that can be recycled and appropriately process remaining materials; they do not accept materials which they are not licensed to process. We will continue to hold our contractors to high standards and work to ensure compliance with all environmental and safety regulations. We will provide a full written explanation of this process as requested in a memorandum to Dr. Smith by Ms. Ortman-Fouse, who asked a series of important questions about the turf removal process that will help illuminate this issue.
The Board of Education is an excellent steward of both taxpayer resources and of the environment in the service of educating the children and youth of Montgomery County. The Superintendent and those of us in his administration are committed to implementing the Board’s vision. It is unfortunate that there is a small group of individuals attempting to mislead and misinform our community about this issue. This behavior distracts from our core mission of teaching and learning. I am particularly troubled by the fact that in this case we are fielding questions about a paintball facility’s reuse of artificial turf in White Marsh, Maryland when here in Montgomery County locally we are focused on creating opportunities for all students to learn and achieve at high levels. We welcome serious debate on instructional and operational issues; at the same time we know that accountability only truly results when all stakeholders hold to high standards of accuracy, reliability, and constructive communication.

Class action lawsuit: Charging Idaho students fees is unconstitutional (Same thing going on in Montgomery County Public Schools)

The complaint says school districts have been charging students unconstitutional fees, on the grounds of free public education and taking of private property.

BOISE -- A class action lawsuit was filed in federal court, urging Idaho school districts to stop charging students fees.
The suit lists every school district as defendants and every K-12 student and their parents or guardians as plaintiffs. The lawsuit claims their rights have been violated under the Idaho and U.S. Constitutions.

Former Idaho Supreme Court Justice Robert Huntley and attorney Jason Wood filed a class action complaint in late May, but it is not certified yet. The districts have been served, they say, and they are waiting for all of them to respond.
This class action complaint says school districts have been charging students unconstitutional fees, on the grounds of free public education and taking of private property.
"The hope of this lawsuit is if we get substantial judgment against these school districts, finally the school districts, patrons, the PTAs and parents and grandparents will come to the Legislature and say: Legislature, do your job," Robert Huntley said. "If we get a judgment against the school districts, I would think school districts would come to the Legislature and say 'pay up, reimburse us'."
The basic motivation of this lawsuit is this:
"The constitution provides that the Legislature shall provide free common public schools, which includes charter schools. And what's happened in Idaho is we've been underfunding very badly," Huntley told KTVB. "It's sophistry to say you're for education if you don't want to fund it."

Monday, July 30, 2018

TODAY: Board of Ed. Slips $1.45 MILLION Plastic Football Field in BCC Construction Contract as Change Order #artificialturf #landfill #nobid

FYI: $1,450,000 for an artificial turf football field is an outrageous price! 

But, this is on the Board of Education's Consent Agenda for today's meeting.

Here's how this will go:

  • One Board member chosen in advance will ask that this Consent Agenda item be removed from the agenda for discussion.   
  • A MCPS staff member will then take a seat at the Board table and give a predetermined statement to cover for this outlandish price.  
  • There will be no explanation of why the purchase of this artificial turf field is being slipped into the Hess Construction Contract.  
  • There will be no explanation of why this purchase is not going to be bid out separately. 
  • There will be no discussion of the useful life of this plastic field or how in 10 years it will join other plastic fields in Brunswick, Virginia to sit for the next 1,000 years.
  • There will be no discussion about where the MONEY for this ONE artificial turf field is coming from.  Based on previous statements by MCPS COO Andrew Zuckerman, MCPS does not have enough money in the budget (Capital or Operating - depending on which one Mr. Zuckerman discusses) to pay this much for ONE artificial turf football field.  Spending at this level on ONE field is not sustainable based on the existing funds for new artificial turf fields. 
  • Board members will be silent.  They will nod their heads.  They will not ask questions or demand documentation. They will unanimously vote for this exorbitant expenditure without ever seeing contracts or any details about the plastic field to be installed.
$1,450,000 should have been enough money to pay for 3 new artificial turf football fields.  

.@MoCoCouncilMD @MontgomeryCoMD who is accepting responsibility for massive crumb rubber pollution of Cabin John Creek? Crumb rubber everywhere even after @MCPS official “claimed” precautions taken!

3rd Dumpster of Artificial Turf Headed to Brunswick, VA Landfill #artificialturf #12tons #MontgomeryCounty #whiteprivilege

3rd Dumpster of artificial turf at RMHS 7/29/2018

8/6/18 Update:  See all the pollution generated by the removal of the artificial turf at RMHS at this link

12 tons of the used plastic field and crumb rubber have been sent to the Brunswick, Virginia landfill.

A 3rd dumpster has been filled with used artificial turf and crumb rubber at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, Maryland.  The artificial turf field was used for 10 years and now is being removed and at least 3 dumpsters of the used plastic and ground up tires is being sent to a landfill in Brunswick, Virginia despite assurances by the Montgomery County Board of Education that:

"The existing artificial turf material has been removed and sent for recycling."

Please note that two of these pictures were taken after the statement from MCPS COO Andrew Zuckerman saying that the old field had been sent for recycling.

Maybe MCPS COO will explain to the public what he means by "recycling" at this evening's Board of Education meeting.

2nd Dumpster 7/26/2018

1st dumpster at RMHS  7/18/2018

.⁦@MdPublicSchools⁩ - States are evaluated based on a number of factors including student performance, functional outcomes of students with disabilities and fulfilling IDEA’s procedural requirements. ⁦@usdoegov⁩ found MD did NOT meet standards!


...Amy Cropp, director of the MCPS Division of Prekindergarten, Special Programs and Related Services, said the County needs more places for classrooms for all the children, as they continue to expand the number of preschool classes.    
“At some point, space – we don’t have any more space to do it within MCPS,” Cropp told the school board Tuesday.
Superintendent of Schools Jack Smith agreed, and said MCPS must form more partnerships with organizations and companies for facility use, including private preschool program providers, in which to put the preschool programs... 
...Smith said in a memorandum to the Board of Education that only 70 percent of the 4-year-olds who are financially eligible to attend preschool from MCPS or through County HHS are enrolled...

Sunday, July 29, 2018

SOLD! to the highest bidder

We all know that our internet data is data mined and sold for profit. Its all the cost of doing business.

But did you realize the extent to which your minor child's data is commercialized?

Perhaps we need to just accept that like our health data, the concept of personal privacy has gone the way of the landline . . . or has it?

From the article:

Consumers’ personal details are collected in countless ways these days, from Instagram clicks, dating profiles and fitness apps. While many of those efforts are aimed at adults, the recruiting methods for some student recognition programs give a peek into the widespread and opaque world of data mining for millions of minors — and how students’ profiles may be used to target them for educational and noneducational offers. MyCollegeOptions, for instance, says it may give student loan services, test prep and other companies access to student data.

These marketing programs are generally legal, taking advantage of the fact that there is no federal law regulating consumer data brokers. They also face little oversight because federal education privacy laws make public schools, and not their vendors, directly responsible for controlling the spread of student data.

Read more at:https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/29/business/for-sale-survey-data-on-millions-of-high-school-students.html

Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Washington Post takes an Interest in PA Sex Abuse Report, but No Similar Interest in MCPS Cases

"Ten news organizations, including the Morning Call in Allentown, Pa., and The Washington Post, joined in a brief urging the release of the grand jury report."


The Montgomery County Council's Education Committee held a hearing on the sex abuse cases in Montgomery County Public Schools on April 25, 2018, and The Washington Post did not deem that meeting newsworthy.  They did not cover the meeting or what was revealed (read our blog posts at this link).


Friday, July 27, 2018

@MikeOzanian - Montgomery County School Board lied about disposal of artificial turf field

RMHS Plastic Field Headed to Brunswick, VA Landfill. Thank you Virginia! #artificialturf #makingmemories

8/6/18 Update:  See all the environmental pollution generated by the removal of the artificial turf at RMHS at this link

Yesterday, we showed you the dumpster full of plastic artificial grass, ground up rubber tires, hay and plastic bottles at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, Maryland.

That dumpster showed that despite years of promises, the Montgomery County Board of Education and Montgomery County County Council were not going to recycle the artificial turf football field at Richard Montgomery High School.

Instead, at least 8 tons of the field are being sent to the Montgomery County incinerator in dumpsters.

But what happens when those dumpsters arrive at the Dickerson incinerator?  As we know from the September 26, 2011, Montgomery County Council hearing on artificial turf (the one where Councilmember Roger Berliner cut the video feed), artificial turf plastic grass is a "nonprocessable waste" (Page 86 of Power Point) and if delivered to the Dickerson incinerator will be sent to our out-of-state landfill in Brunswick, Virginia.

Not only is the RMHS artificial turf field not being recycled, at least 8 tons of it will permanently reside in the landfill in Brunswick, Virginia for centuries.  Artificial turf football fields are used for 10 years and take 1,000 years to decompose (or will never decompose) in a landfill.

You can take your grandchildren to visit the Brunswick, Virginia landfill and rehash the football, lacrosse, and soccer games that were played on the field during it's very short life at RMHS.  And while you are there you can also visit with the artificial turf fields from Blair HS, Wootton HS, Walter Johnson HS, Paint Branch HS, Gaithersburg HS, Whitman HS, BCC High School, Somerset ES and all the others to come.  They will all be there soon.



Click here for more on the story of the removal of the Richard Montgomery High School artificial turf field.

My name is Wil Wheaton. I Live With Chronic Depression and Generalized Anxiety. I Am Not Ashamed.

...Right now, there is a child somewhere who has the same panic attacks I had, and their parents aren’t getting them help, because they believe it reflects poorly on their parenting to have a child with mental illness.

Here’s one of the things I tell them:
One of the many delightful things about having Depression and Anxiety is occasionally and unexpectedly feeling like the whole goddamn world is a heavy lead blanket, like that thing they put on your chest at the dentist when you get x-rays, and it’s been dropped around your entire existence without your consent.
Physically, it weighs heavier on me in some places than it does in others. I feel it tugging at the corners of my eyes, and pressing down on the center of my chest. When it’s really bad, it can feel like one of those dreams where you try to move, but every step and every motion feels like you’re struggling to move through something heavy and viscous. Emotionally, it covers me completely, separating me from my motivation, my focus, and everything that brings me joy in my life.
When it drops that lead apron over us, we have to remind ourselves that one of the things Depression does, to keep itself strong and in charge, is tell us lies, like: I am the worst at everything. Nobody really likes me. I don’t deserve to be happy. This will never end. And so on and so on. We can know, in our rational minds, that this is a giant bunch of bullshit (and we can look at all these times in our lives when were WERE good at a thing, when we genuinely felt happy, when we felt awful but got through it, etc.) but in the moment, it can be a serious challenge to wait for Depression to lift the roadblock that’s keeping us from moving those facts from our rational mind to our emotional selves.
And that’s the thing about Depression: we can’t force it to go away. As I’ve said, if I could just “stop feeling sad” I WOULD. (And, also, Depression isn’t just feeling sad, right? It’s a lot of things together than can manifest themselves into something that is most easily simplified into “I feel sad.”)
So another step in our self care is to be gentle with ourselves. Depression is beating up on us already, and we don’t need to help it out. Give yourself permission to acknowledge that you’re feeling terrible (or bad, or whatever it is you are feeling), and then do a little thing, just one single thing, that you probably don’t feel like doing, and I PROMISE you it will help. Some of those things are:
  • Take a shower.
  • Eat a nutritious meal.
  • Take a walk outside (even if it’s literally to the corner and back).
  • Do something — throw a ball, play tug of war, give belly rubs — with a dog. Just about any activity with my dogs, even if it’s just a snuggle on the couch for a few minutes, helps me.
  • Do five minutes of yoga stretching.
  • Listen to a guided meditation and follow along as best as you can.
Finally, please trust me and know that this shitty, awful, overwhelming, terrible way you feel IS NOT FOREVER. It will get better. It always gets better. You are not alone in this fight, and you are OK...

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Breaking: Board of Ed. defines Recycling as Throwing in a Dumpster and Sending to Incinerator

The Montgomery County Board of Education has put out an announcement about the removal of the artificial turf football field at Richard Montgomery High School.  The announcement is on the home page of the MCPS website. The announcement says in part: 
July 21, 2018 
Dear MCPS Community,
This week, contractors began work to replace the artificial turf field at Richard Montgomery High School. The existing artificial turf material has been removed and sent for recycling. The entire system, including turf fibers and infill, will be repurposed as a continuation of the overall lifecycle of the materials...

...Contractors and MCPS staff are working diligently to remove the artificial turf in a safe and efficient manner and look forward to installing the new organic infill field shortly.

Andrew Zuckerman
Chief Operating Officer

Montgomery County Public Schools
Richard Montgomery High School
Artificial turf plastic grass, crumb rubber,
hay and empty plastic bottles in a
dumpster on July 25, 2018
Source Twitter @BLCon

This is a great summer learning excerise for students.  Have your student read the words from the letter above and then ask them what they think those words mean? 

Then you can show them the picture of the artificial turf plastic grass, crumb rubber, hay and empty plastic bottles in a dumpster on its way to the Montgomery County incinerator.  Explain to your children that this is what recycling looks like in MCPS.   

It turns out that in Montgomery County "recycling" is the same thing as sending trash off to the Dickerson incinerator. 

Now you know!

Heat Waves Bring Warnings About Synthetic Turf Risks

August 2016:

The Synthetic Turf Council, an industry group, warns that, "In direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day in the summer months, the upper layer of the synthetic turf that is exposed to the sun's rays will get significantly hotter than grass."


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Hartings elected president of Maryland State Board of Education

A former Washington County Board of Education member will be the next president of the state school board.
The Maryland State Board of Education on Tuesday unanimously elected Justin Hartings as the board's next president, state education officials announced in a news release.
Hartings was appointed to the state school board by Gov. Larry Hogan in June 2017.
"I'm really excited," he said Tuesday evening in a phone interview. "I think we have a lot of big challenges ahead of us in the next year."
One will be to implement changes following recommendations about education funding formulas and accountability measures coming from the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, or Kirwan Commission, in the near future, he said...

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

@ABC7Kevin Jul 23 More NEW: MoCo 🚔 use map to highlight areas w/ highest amount of gang-related crime this year:

County police report violent gang-related crime on the rise -Assistant Chief Laura Lanham said there also was a “pretty substantial” uptick in the number of sex offenses

County police report violent gang-related crime on the rise: Uptick in sex offenses, human trafficking cases in first half of 2018


Appellee/cross-appellant Lockheed Martin sought a refund of the hotel rental taxes it paid over the course of three years to appellant/cross-appellee Montgomery County in connection with a facility at its corporate headquarters that offers sleeping accommodations to employees and guests who pay for overnight stays. Montgomery County denied the refund claim. The Maryland Tax Court upheld that decision, but the Circuit Court for Montgomery County disagreed in part and found that Lockheed Martin was entitled to most of the refund it sought...


Sunday, July 22, 2018

Richard Montgomery High School crumb rubber artificial turf field removal

Here is the official letter stating that the hazardous artificial turf field at Richard Montgomery High School was removed and 'recycled.' The letter is dated July 18, 2018, and the company is Turfcycle USA. According to this letter the used commercial tires crumb rubber field is now at 11011 Pulaski Highway, White Marsh, MD.

Chain of Custody Reuse by freestategal on Scribd

Friday, July 20, 2018

Forget Plastic Straws, Board of Ed. is Dumping Ground Up Tires in Streams in Cabin John Watershed

Remember when FieldTurf told the Montgomery County Council in 2011 that when artificial turf is removed "every single component will be recycled?"

Here we are 7 years later and this is the reality.  The Richard Montgomery HS artificial turf has been ripped up and 120 tons of ground up tires (crumb rubber) are being spread all over the school grounds, parking lot, roads and are going into our storm drains, ponds and creeks in the Cabin John Watershed.

All of the black dots you see in the pictures below are ground up tires (crumb rubber) used as the infill on the artificial turf field at RMHS.  Each artificial turf field requires 120 tons of ground up tires. All pictures were taken in the last two days and after the recent rain storm.

Drain surrounded by ground up tire pellets from artificial turf infill on 
Richard Montgomery High School artificial turf field. 

To report illegal dumping in the City of Rockville:

MD State Board of Ed. President: "Dubious move to reject Advanced Placement"

In a Fordham Institute article the president of the Maryland State Board of Education, Chester E. Finn, Jr. says:
Advanced Placement is about as close as American K–12 education has today to a gold standard—and as close as we come to a quality national curriculum at the intersection of high school and college. 
Although Mr. Finn does not identify himself as the president of the Maryland State Board of Education at the end of the article, readers can find his information at this link on the Maryland State Board of Education website.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

And the Somerset Elementary School artificial turf playground is coming apart. #surprised? #2YearsOld

The picture to the left shows a section of the Somerset Elementary School playground where the artificial turf is coming apart at a seam.

The picture below shows the temperature of the Somerset Elementary School artificial turf playground on July 14th.  Should children be playing on a surface that is 146 degrees?  Do the children go out for recess when the field is 146 degrees during the school year?

The Somerset Elementary School parents were allowed by the Board of Education to raise money to put in their own artificial turf field.  Who is going to be funding the repairs to this two year old artificial grass field?  

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

There it goes! But where is it going? Dump? Incinerator? Another High School?

This is a picture of some of the used artificial turf from the Richard Montgomery High School field being hauled away.

But where is all this plastic going?  The Board of Education has not discussed this or made a plan for how to dispose of an entire football field of plastic. 

If you see the driver of this 18 wheeler, ask them where they are headed.

MABE's Newest Vendor that will be Meeting with Board of Education Members Outside of Public View

MABE is the Maryland Association of Boards of Education.  It is a private club that taxpayers fund. Each Board of Education in the State of Maryland belongs to MABE with the notable exception of the Maryland State Board of Education who dropped out of the club in 2012.

In recent years MABE has been "partnering" with companies that have things to "sell" to Boards of Education.


Each year MABE holds a conference in Ocean City and on top of the dues above, tax payers fund the OC Party

While at the conference MABE "partners" have unrestricted access to Board of Education members. Parents? You aren't there and don't have a voice in these procurement discussions.  

Today, MABE added another vendor to their list.  Take a look at what this vendor sells because there is a possibility that your Board of Education will be bringing this product to your local school system soon.  

MABE's other sponsors:

MABE Partner Milestone Communications has Contract Thrown Out in Virginia

Remember that in Maryland hundreds of thousands of education dollars a year go to pay the dues of the Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE).  MABE partners with no bid vendors like Milestone Communications and provides those vendors exclusive access to Board of Education members at meetings and at their annual event in Ocean City, MD. 

...The contract refers to the School Board as “Owner” of the public school property being offered as potential tower sites, as the Board is empowered to enter into contracts involving school land. However, the agreement was signed by Dean Tisdadt, former Chief Operating Officer of the school division who retired in June, instead of by a representative of the School Board. Though Tisdadt often signed contractual documents in the course of county business, in this case he had not been authorized to do so by the School Board in a formal vote, and thus was not a valid signatory on the contract...
...Since the agreement did not go before the School Board for approval, most Board members were not aware of the agreement’s existence even as they deliberated over the proposed cell towers at Albemarle High School and Western Albemarle High School over the last two years. “I certainly did not know of any marketing agreement with Milestone,” said School Board member David Oberg, who represents the White Hall district. As the Board has already approved the proposed WAHS cell tower, that plan will continue on to the Board of Supervisors for consideration this fall...
...In addition, a confidentiality clause in the agreement barring disclosure of its terms and conditions to any third parties meant that local school officials, parents, and owners of neighboring property had little chance of learning about its existence. Indeed, even Charlottesville attorney Lori Schweller, tasked with representing Milestone at the Crozet Community Advisory Committee public meeting about the WAHS tower, was unaware of the agreement.
The proposed WAHS tower site was approved by the School Board last year, though it was not recommended for approval by the Planning Commission at its June 26 meeting, due to zoning ordinance violations and in deference to the county’s Architectural Review Board, which also did not recommend approval. The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing and discussion of requested special use permits related to the project at its meeting September 12.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Unfortunately, the [Montgomery County] Board of Education allows retaliation against whistleblowing employees..."

..."Unfortunately, the Board of Education allows retaliation against whistleblowing employees, and is willing to subject employees to long and expensive legal battles, instead of pursuing the truth that will best serve the interests of students. MCPS has endured child abuse scandals, conflict of interest issues in awarding curriculum contracts, and abuse of the credit recovery process leading to inflated graduation rates," Donlon wrote. "I believe I met my moral and ethical obligations throughout this multi-year ordeal. I only wish that the case did not stay tied up in procedural issues. The facts of the case were never heard by a court."  

Court of Appeals Sides with MCPS in Whistleblower Case: Richard Montgomery High School social studies teacher brought forward fears of AP enrollment inflation

Richard Montgomery HS gets Replacement Plastic Grass from MCPS Operating Budget, No Outside Sponsor

Alvaro recommended the district adopt an employee code of conduct that explictly references inappropriate behavior, like the code she advocated for that was adopted by the Montgomery County Public Schools.

Experts Weigh in on Efforts to Protect CPS [Chicago Public Schools] Students From Sexual Abuse

...Alvaro calls lack of training for students “a major loophole” in preventing child sexual abuse. “This would be analogous to never holding active shooter drills with kids. It’s our job as adults to prevent sexual abuse. But you have to tell kids what to do if it happens. It’s just like putting seat belts on or fire drills.”


Monday, July 16, 2018

Prince George’s County school board member Edward Burroughs has been granted a temporary peace order against school board chair Dr. Segun Eubanks.

Silver Chips: Why Online School?

...Within just a week of starting online school, Farber noticed a tremendous difference in both her physical and mental health. "After about a week of not having to go to school I was going to bed on time, waking up at a normal time, actually doing work and talking to my friends again," Farber attests. Online school provides a relief of school-related stress and pressure that can be very beneficial for a student’s health. While Farber admits that "it’s hard to say, of course, what exactly helped me get into a better place," she emphasizes that, "being out of school and being removed definitely took a lot of my anxiety away because I didn’t have to worry about all the school drama…"


Friday, July 13, 2018

P.G. Board of Ed Chair Eubanks has been charged with second-degree assault.


School board approves $800K severance deal for PGCPS CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell

...Burroughs, one of Dr. Maxwell's vocal critics, told FOX 5, “I'm very disappointed that our tax dollars were wasted. These are dollars that could have gone to the classroom, but instead will leave with Dr. Maxwell.”
Burroughs also said he was threatened by Eubanks after calling for his resignation.
“After the meeting, his attorney asked me to come to the back room and when I went to the back room, [Eubanks] pushed me against the bookcase and told me he was going to blank me up … And as you have on your video footage, he was escorted off the premises by school system security.”
Another school board member who witnessed the alleged incident backed up Burroughs' account. Eubanks did not respond to our request for his account of what happened.

DEVELOPING: At tonight's @pgcps board meeting. Chair of the board, @SegunEu was asked to resign by member,

Court of Appeals: State whistleblower law does not apply to public school teachers. Brian Donlon, a social studies teacher at Richard Montgomery High School. Donlon alleged that, after he told media outlets in 2012 he discovered the Rockville school was inflating its Advanced Placement statistics, his superiors assigned him to teach courses he did not feel qualified to teach and made him a floating teacher who had to travel from classroom to classroom...

Maryland public school teachers are not protected by the state’s Whistleblower Protection Law because their employer is the county education board and not the state, the Court of Appeals held Thursday.
The decision affirms the Court of Special Appeals dismissal of a lawsuit brought by Brian Donlon, a social studies teacher at Richard Montgomery High School. Donlon alleged that, after he told media outlets in 2012 he discovered the Rockville school was inflating its Advanced Placement statistics, his superiors assigned him to teach courses he did not feel qualified to teach and made him a floating teacher who had to travel from classroom to classroom, according to the Court of Appeals opinion.
Donlon brought his whistleblower complaint to the state Department of Budget and Management in December 2014 but the agency ultimately dismissed the complaint after determining Donlon lacked jurisdiction because he was not a state employee.
On an administrative appeal, however, a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge ruled Donlon was a state employee and therefore protected by the whistleblower law.
The Court of Appeals on Thursday described county boards of education as a “hybrid” entity that possesses characteristics of both state and local branches. But Judge Glenn T. Harrell Jr., writing for the unanimous court, noted the county boards have “exclusive responsibilities over personnel matters.”
Eric C. Brousaides, a lawyer for Montgomery County Public Schools, praised the court’s conclusion.
“It is not inconsistent for a school system to argue that the (Board of Education) is a state agency for some purposes, like 11th Amendment immunity, and a county agency for other purposes,” said Brousaides of Carney, Kelehan, Bresler, Bennett & Scherr LLP in Columbia.
But the “sharpest blade cutting against Donlon’s claim” was the Public School Employee Whistleblower Protection Act, which went into effect in October, according to Harrell, a senior judge sitting by special assignment. The new statute excludes state employees from its definition of “public school employee,” he wrote. If the court held county school boards were state agents, he added, then county school boards would not be protected under the new statute.
“We do not believe the two statutes can be read harmoniously,” Harrell wrote. “To accept Donlon’s urging would render nugatory portions of the PSEWPA.”
Donlon’s attorney referred to the length of Harrell’s decision to show the complexity of how the state whistleblower law was applied.

“It seems a 44-page and scholarly opinion from the Court of Appeals was necessary to explain how Brian Donlon was not clearly covered by the Whistleblower Law as a public school teacher, and to allow the Montgomery County School Board the ability to take inconsistent positions in court about whether it is or is not a state agency,” said Adam Augustine Carter, principal at The Employment Law Group in Washington, in an emailed statement...