On Friday morning, March 10, 2017, during its weekly meeting during the legislative session, the Anne Arundel Delegation to the Maryland General Assembly voted 8-7 to kill an amendment to HB716, the bill to change the election process for the AACPS Board of Education, that would have required CRASC to follow Maryland’s Open Meetings Act when making decisions regarding the election of the Student Member of the Board. The vote was a 7-7 largely party line vote with Delegate Meagan Simonaire breaking the tie vote to kill the amendment.
Immediately after the vote I went to Del. Simonaire’s office to ask her to explain her vote. She said she hadn’t read my various articles in the Capital, Washington Post, and eLighthouse.info on the issue and now that I explained it to her she would ask that the Ways & Means Committee change her vote at a meeting scheduled later the same day. A few hours later I resent her a copy of my report on the culture of secrecy and intimidation that had taken hold of CRASC under pressure from AACPS administrators.
Late on Friday, March 10, I called the Ways & Means Committee to ask if Del. Simonaire had changed her vote. The staffer said no, but the bill also hadn’t yet come up for a vote. I called again on Tuesday, March 14, and got the same answer. On Wednesday, March 15, the Ways & Means Committee voted on the bill without any change in Del. Simonaire’s vote on the amendment. Note that the Maryland General Assembly doesn’t publish on its website either the contents of or votes on failed amendments.