Friday, March 31, 2006

Weast's deputy says MCPS may be breaking state law

A top MCPS official admits that the school system might be in violation of state law.

The admission, from the MCPS deputy superintendent, comes after a citizens watchdog group blew the whistle.

According to the Gazette, "State law requires that school systems have an advisory committee to review family life and human development curriculum. That committee may also review HIV/AIDS prevention curriculum, or the school system may establish a separate committee to do so."

Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum President Michelle Turner told the school board March 14, "[State law] indicates that the Citizens Advisory Committee can be used for the purpose of reviewing materials, but only if the committee has a representative from the local health department."

The committee currently does not.

In response to Turner's testimony, MCPS officials have asked the Maryland Department of Education, state school board, and state Attorney General's office to clarify the law, the Gazette reports.

"The [state Department of Education] Web site cited by Ms. Turner . . . does appear to contradict our understanding of the requirement," Deputy Superintendent Frieda K. Lacey wrote in a memo to Superintendent Jerry Weast.