Three school board seats up for grabs in contentious Montgomery County race

Voters in Maryland are casting their ballots Tuesday, including for key races on county school boards. 

In Montgomery County, three seats are up for grabs. At Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, no classes are being held due to the primary. 

While there are elections for president and Congress, the school board races have equal, if not greater, importance for voters today.

Three of the seven seats on the Montgomery County School Board are on the ballot. All three incumbents are running, with a total of 14 candidates vying for the non-partisan, four-year terms. 

The school board has faced significant scrutiny recently, especially following the February resignation of Superintendent Dr. Monifa McKnight after the controversial promotion of a middle school principal accused of bullying and sexual misconduct.

"I voted early, and one of the things I focused on was transparency," said Montgomery County Council At-Large Member Evan Glass emphasizing the importance of Tuesday's vote. "We have a $3.3 billion budget for our school system, and I want to ensure it is used efficiently and directed towards the right resources. I have asked and will continue to ask board members and candidates for more oversight and transparency, because I believe that's the best way to provide quality education for our kids and good-paying jobs for teachers."


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Jill Ortman-Fouse, a former Montgomery County School Board member who served from 2014 to 2018 told FOX 5, "It's really important to choose candidates who are willing to address the issues, whose policies align with the values of this county, and who can work together as a team to better meet the needs of all kids in Montgomery County."

"School boards nationwide face many controversial and divisive issues," she said. "We need board members who welcome and include all kids and want all kids to be successful."


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Some residents, like Janis Zink Sartucci from the Parents' Coalition of Montgomery County, expressed skepticism about the impact of the election outcomes.

"I've been observing the Board of Education for over 20 years," Sartucci said. "In the past decade, I've seen them gradually relinquish power to superintendents and various MCPS administrators. Many school-related and budget-related decisions are now made outside the board's purview."

Despite differing opinions, the outcome of these races will be closely watched. 

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