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.
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UNITED STATES STUDENT VOICE DIRECTORY — Updated for 2023
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RELATED: U.S. Office of Students and Youth | Students on District School Boards across the U.S. | Student Voice in U.S. Education Agencies | List of Education Agencies | “Typical Engagement? Students on School Boards in the U.S.”
- Maryland Student Member of the State Board of Education by the Maryland Association of Student Councils
- Maryland State Board of Education official website
- Bethesda Schools New Student School Board Member official website