April 25, 2016 2:33 pm ET
BCPS Board member continues quest for answers about Dance’s secret agenda
Source: If, At First, You Don’t Succeed…
And the “Dance” continues…
BCPS board member Ann Miller has filed yet another (!!!) PIA—this time seeking the answers that were not given in response to her first PIA.
One has to admire her perseverance to uncover the truth in our county schools.
I, for one, praise Ms. Miller’s determination to get answers to questions that others, including me, have been seeking for some time. This appears to be a direct attempt by Dr. Dance’s office to derail any and all inquires that will uncover a very controversial left-wing progressive movement that is funded by taxpayer dollars.
The question, in my mind (and surely of others as well) is whether Dr. Dance is using his stature as Superintendent for the benefit of our school children or just for his own benefit.
I also want readers to know that BCPS is not the only part of our county that is the opposite of transparent—the entire county government continues to convolute the truth by ignoring or outright deceiving citizens who are only seeking the truth.
But that is for another blog on another day…
I have written about my own issues with BCPS in the past, and those issues remain unresolved.
I imagine the “powers that be” at the county schools will be shocked when I send them a money order to obtain information pertaining to some of same issues as those in Ms. Miller’s latest PIA, as well as other areas that BCPS has been eager to highlight but less than zealous to reveal.
Here’s to hoping that Ms. Miller has more success in this latest go-round.
Below is the entire copy of Ms. Miller’s PIA request as written.
Margaret-Ann Howie, BCPS General Counsel
Dr. Dallas Dance, Superintendent
Charles McDaniels, Board Chairman
6901 Charles Street
Towson, MD 21204
RE: MPIA request
Ms. Howie, Dr. Dance, and Mr. McDaniels:
The purpose of the Maryland Public Information Act (MPIA) is to allow the public access to
government documents, not to allow public bodies to hide behind the exceptions to the law. Although the law
allows for certain exceptions, a public body can still CHOOSE to disclose information that would fall under
exceptions even though the law cannot FORCE them to disclose it. The practice of Baltimore County Public
Schools (BCPS) has been consistently to withhold information unless the law requires disclosure.
This practice is not only adverse to transparent government, but fosters a distrust among the public which the school system is supposed to be serving. BCPS then spends an excessive amount of time, money, and resources in trying to undo these negative consequences of its actions through PR and Communications.
The response I received, just hours prior to the votes on both the budget and the renewal of the
superintendent’s employment contract, to my MPIA request of 1/19/16 was nothing short of a travesty, a
dereliction of duty, and a violation of the law, as I outlined in my letter of April 7, 2016. The very fact that a
board member is forced to resort to submitting a MPIA in order to get information necessary to do her duty as a
member of the board is indicative of deeply-rooted and far-reaching ethical and operational issues within BCPS
and the Board of Education of Baltimore County (Board). The estimated fee charge of $5,585.27 in order to
fulfill some of my January request is a brazen insult to the public trust and the value being placed on the role of
the board as an oversight and directive entity.
Please consider this to be a request under the Maryland Public Information Act, Annotated Code of
Maryland, state Government Article 10-611 to 630. I make this request as a citizen of Maryland and a member
of the Board of Education of Baltimore County.
The Board is now considering the details of the renewal employment contract for the superintendent.
Chairman McDaniels asked members to submit their information requests, which I did on March 7. Only four
of my 17 questions were answered in full or at all, on April 7. Despite concerns raised by board members and
stakeholders regarding the superintendent’s relationships with tech-ed companies, extensive time and travel on
promotional speaking engagements across the country, legal and ethical issues, and unanswered questions, the
majority of the Board seems to be moving hastily and blindly toward a vote of approval on the contract
submitted by the superintendent and his personal attorney. Indeed, the more questions are raised, the more
urgency is put toward an approval vote by the board majority.
Please provide the following to the entire Board, before the May 10 board meeting if possible:
1. Documentation which shows the total amount paid by the Board for the superintendent’s salary and all
benefits, itemized, from July 2012 to present including: salary, pension, automobile, gasoline, auto
insurance, retirement plans, reimbursement for state pensions, personal protection, unused vacation days,
disability income insurance, life insurance, health insurance, communication allowance, business expenses,
2. Cite any provision of law which permits the superintendent to hold any outside employment, given MD
Code 4-202 which requires “full time devotion to public school business.”
3. Cite any provision of law or of the superintendent’s employment contract which permits the superintendent
to make promotional videos on behalf of corporations or other outside entities, given 12.1 of the second
amendment to his employment contract which states “Notwithstanding any provisions contained herein, the
Superintendent shall not engage in any outside consulting engagements or relationships.”
4. Dr. Dance’s Financial Disclosure Forms for the years 2011 to 2015.
5. Annual approval requests to the Board for Dr. Dance’s professional and civic organization membership and
costs as required by the superintendent’s employment contract for 2012 to present.
6. Documentation showing reimbursements to the superintendent or payments made directly by the Board for
any and all professional and civic organization memberships from 2012 to present.
7. The written approvals by the Board required by the superintendent’s employment contract for any and all
events in which Dr. Dance participated from 2012 to present.
8. Itemized expense statements for expense reimbursements of any kind and the approvals from the Board, as
required by the superintendent’s employment contract 7.1, from 2012 to present.
9. Notifications and prior approvals for professional development programs and activities and reimbursements
for same as required by the superintendent’s employment contract 7.2 for 2012 to present.
10. Notification, prior approvals, and reimbursements or payments for business and professional meetings as
required by the superintendent’s employment contract 7.3 for 2012 to present.
11. Annual superintendent performance evaluations from 2012 to present as required by the superintendent’s
employment contract 8.1.
12. Copies of prior board approvals for outside activities, including teaching, private consulting, speaking
engagements, acceptance of appointments to foundations, boards, or commissions, as required by the
superintendent’s employment contract 12.1 for 2012 to present.
13. Annual reports to the board of all outside activities in which he engaged during the preceding year, for the
years 2012 to present, as required by the superintendent’s employment contract 12.1.
14. Documentation showing any expense reimbursement to the Board for outside activities in which the
superintendent received any honoraria or compensation as required by the superintendent’s employment
contract Section 12.1 for 2012 to present, along with the express written approvals of the Board.
15. Documentation showing any compensation, profit or royalty received by the superintendent for authoring or
publishing research or scholarly work using data or referencing the activities of the school system as
required by the superintendent’s employment contract 12.2 for 2012 to present.
16. Documentation showing days which the superintendent took as vacation, holidays or other days off from
2012 to present.
17. Documentation or correspondence by or between Board employees regarding Dr. Dance’s profile on Orate
from 2015 to present.
Thank you for your prompt assistance with this pressing matter.