School Boards

Students on School Boards in Maryland

The following are facts about students on school boards in Maryland. In Maryland, school districts are operated by county governments; instead of being called districts, they are called counties – but they are the same thing. Students have been involved in school boards in Maryland since the 1970s.

County School Boards

  • In 1972, the Maryland state department of education reported that they encouraged local school boards to consider roles for students on school boards.
  • Today, students in Maryland can join local school boards but cannot vote.
  • The selection process varies from board to board.
  • Generally, student representatives from each high school gather in a kind of mini-election convention and put forth three names for consideration by the boards or local superintendents, who then appoint the candidate.
  • Students can join and vote on the state school board.
  • Some local boards provide students voting representation, and some do not.
  • In Maryland, generally, student representatives from each secondary school gather in a kind of mini-election convention and put forth three names for consideration by the local board and/or superintendent.
  • As many as seven counties have student members on board in some fashion.

State School Board

  • There are 12 voting members of the Maryland State Board of Education, including a student member with a full vote.
  • The student member has partial voting rights.
  • The student members is  selected by the Maryland Association of Student Councils for the Governor of Maryland.
  • Student members are 11th and 12th graders, and serve one year terms.
  • Students have been members on the Maryland State Board of Education since 1985.
  • Law: Education Article 2-202 of the Annotated Code of Maryland authorizes:
    • The Governor to appoint one student member to the Maryland State Board of Education.
    • The student be a public high school junior or senior and serves a one-year term.
    • Student members of the Maryland State Board of Education have partial voting rights
    • Students are excluded from votes concerning the budget, legal appeals, and the removal or reprimand of personnel.
  •  Each year, the Maryland Association of Student Councils (MASC) mails an information packet and application materials to all public high schools.
  • The application requires a resume, three essay questions, and four letters of recommendation.
  • An application review committee selects five finalists.
  • The committee includes the MASC President, 2nd Vice President, one MASC regional President, one adult MASC regional advisor, and the current student State Board of Education member.
  • The final five candidates speak before a student Legislative Session, where approximately 800 Maryland high school and middle school students attend and have the opportunity to vote for two candidates.
  • The two students elected are then interviewed by the Governor of Maryland, who ultimately selects one of them to serve on the State Board.

Maryland School Board Association

  • Students in Maryland are not formal members of the state school board association, but are offered specific training to support their involvement.
  • The state school board association offers a 2-day long new member training for student board representatives along with admission to academic courses.

Maryland Directory of Student Members on Boards of Education

Maryland had 25 school districts supporting 269 high schools. Established by Section 3-1002(g) of the Education Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland, each county has varying rules, procedures, and numbers of student members. Following is a complete accounting of student members on Boards of Education across the state.

  1. Maryland State Board of Education: The SMOB is elected by members of the Chesapeake Regional Association of Student Councils (CRASC) and appointed by the Governor.
  2. Worcester County Public Schools: Three students representing each full-service high school are selected by their school’s Student Government Association and/or the school’s administrative team to serve their senior year as the Student Representative to the Board of Education. Student Representatives attend monthly meetings and provide input on instructional and administrative issues.
  3. Saint Mary’s County Public Schools: Provide an informed student viewpoint to the Board. While serving as the Student Member of the Board, the SMOB will be sharing information with students and the community on an array of educational concerns. This student leadership position also includes participating in student-related and school-related activities.
  4. Queen Anne’s County Public Schools: No further details are available at this time.
  5. Prince George’s County Public Schools: Elected at a special election of the delegates of Prince George’s Regional Association of Student Governments (PGRASG) to be held annually. The Prince George’s County Board of Education and the PGRASG approved the election process for the SMOB in October 1999, followed by the State Legislature’s approval during the 2000 Legislative Session.
  6. Montgomery County Public Schools: The Student Member of the Board (SMOB) is a voting member of the Montgomery County Board of Education. The SMOB can vote on matters related to collective bargaining, capital and operating budgets, and school closings, reopenings and boundaries, but not on negative personnel actions. Montgomery County is one of two counties in Maryland to give this position full voting rights. The SMOB is not paid, but receives a $5,000 college scholarship, Student Service Learning hours, and one honors-level social studies credit.
  7. Kent County Public Schools: No further details are available at this time.
  8. Howard County Public Schools: The Howard County Association of Student Councils (HCASC) carries out the selection process; this process is described in the attached information.
  9. Harford County Public Schools: There is a student member to the Board who serves a one-year term while a high school senior. The student is elected by the Harford County Regional Association of Student Councils.
  10. Garrett County Public Schools: No further details are available at this time.
  11. Frederick County Public Schools: The role of the student member of the Board (SMOB) is to bring a student viewpoint on educational issues to BOE meetings. SMOBs are expected to respect the diversity of students’ points of view, improve communication between the student body, staff and BOE members and inform students of board policies and decisions.
  12. Cecil County Public Schools: No further details are available at this time.
  13. Charles County Public Schools: One student, who is selected by a committee, also serves on the Board. The student gives an opinion vote on most matters before the Board.
  14. Carroll County Public Schools: Each year, a student representative is selected by the Carroll County Student Government Association.
  15. Caroline County Public Schools: Two non-voting student members (one from each high school.
  16. Calvert County Board of Education: The position of Student Member to the Calvert County Board of Education (SMOB) is Officially, the student is a non-voting member of the Board; however, the student may cast a symbolic vote on all matters coming before the Board.
  17. Allegany County Public Schools: No further details are available at this time.
  18. Anne Arundel County Public Schools: One student member; the policy does not specify what student may or may not vote on. “Anne Arundel County’s student member on the Board of Education is the only one in the nation on a local board who has full voting rights.”
  19. Washington County Public Schools: No further details are available at this time.
  20. Talbot County Public Schools: Two nonvoting student members serve one-year terms. One student member represents Easton High School, and one represents St. Michaels High School (Chapter 149, Acts of 2016; Code Education Article, secs. 3-101 through 3-105; 3-12A-01 through 13-12A-06).
  21. Dorchester County Public Schools: In 1988, the Board voted to have two student representatives serve as non-voting members. These students advise the Board on thoughts, viewpoints, and issues of concern to students. They attend all public sessions of the Board but not closed or “executive” sessions.
  22. Baltimore County Public Schools: No further details are available at this time.
  23. Somerset County Public Schools: No further details are available at this time.
  24. Wicomico County Public Schools: No further details are available at this time.
  25. Baltimore City Public Schools: The board has one student member called a Student Commissioner appointed to a one-year term.

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