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. This was updated in May 2020.

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.

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