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Baltimore County Council Members Urge School Board To Consider Replacing Superintendent

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Members of the Baltimore County Council said in a letter Tuesday that they are distressed with the leadership at Baltimore County Public Schools—particularly with Superintendent Darryl Williams—and would like to examine other options.

Five council members expressed their grievances in the letter and sent it to Baltimore County Board of Education Chair Julie Henn. 

The council is comprised of seven county representatives.

Cathy Bevins, Todd Crandell, Wade Kach, David Marks, and Tom Quirk signed the letter.

In it, they said the school district has been struggling with low teacher and student morale for years.

The school system has been grappling with disciplinary problems in its school and buses, high employee turnover rates, and overall declining student achievement, the letter states.

This myriad of issues came to a head after Public Works, LLC, released an efficiency report in September that detailed information it gathered on the county school system beginning in February 2021.

The report noted that Baltimore County Public schools was "a top-heavy school system with low morale, poor communication, and a dysfunctional school board."

Additionally, the report noted that the school system's central office was ineffective and inefficient. It described "a school board that fosters an atmosphere of discord and unprofessionalism, which results in people not trusting in its leadership.

The letter notes that the various problems cited in the report existed before the pandemic.

"We recognize that the last two-plus years have posed significant challenges," the letter said. "We have all been affected by the pandemic and its direct health consequences and the vast interruptions to our normal way of life. Nonetheless, BCPS has been tasked with perhaps the highest and most urgent calling—the care, safety, and education of our children. But instead of rising to the challenge, BCPS leadership has struggled."

Additionally, communication from William's office "has been infrequent and inconsistent," according to the letter.

"Instead of having regular and meaningful consultations with us to discuss issues and solutions to achieve success in the school system, the Superintendent and his leadership team has been, for the most part, a silo," the letter states. "Each time over the past three years we have requested and been granted meetings or briefings from the Superintendent, the answers to our questions and concerns have been mostly 'coach-speak' or scripted, with very little substance."

The city council members say they have reached a "crisis point" and they have no other alternative than to ask the board of education to search for a replacement superintendent before renewing Williams' contract.

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