Thursday, March 17, 2005

Court found school board violated its own policies

A January Montgomery County court decision might be the smoking gun showing that the board of education, in the face of mounting parental pressure, voted to erase PTA involvement from school facilities decisionmaking.

The Potomac Almanac's Ken Millstone cites the Montgomery County Circuit Court's decision that the Board of Education violated its own policies in administering a language immersion program at Potomac Elementary School.

The court found that the Hsu family of Potomac "had incurred harm as a result of improper actions by the Montgomery County Board," according to Millstone.

The issue was the board's policy switch - in which the negatively affected parties were not given the chance to be heard - concerning who could attend a special Chinese language immersion program. The Hsu family had moved to the area specifically so her daughter could enroll, only to find that the school board changed the rules so the girl was denied the opportunity.

Judge Michael D. Mason chastised the Board of Education: "The opportunity for a citizen to be heard on a matter directly affecting them is one of the pillars of our representational form of government."