—- By: Ann Costantino —-
New information, obtained by The Baltimore Post after a delayed response to an open records request, show that Maryland State Superintendent Karen Salmon revoked former Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent Dallas Dance’s educator certificate, citing moral turpitude.
In an earlier report, The Baltimore Post stated that both Virginia and Maryland superintendents gave Dance the option to either surrender the certifications or have them revoked.
But new records now show that Dance did not willingly surrender his “educator certificate” in Maryland, but had it revoked by Salmon after he first asked to have his credentials reinstated at the conclusion of a two-year probation period, a condition of his sentence for perjury charges.
While the Virginia State Department of Education (VSDE) superintendent gave Dance the option to either surrender his licenses or have them revoked, the new records show that officials from the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) gave Dance two options, but neither allowed him to give up his certification willingly.
In an October 19 email, Dance was given the options: to have an Administrative Hearing at the MSDE or allow Salmon to make her decision after reviewing the state prosecutor’s Statement of Facts in Support of Guilty Plea from Dance’s legal proceeding.
Dance chose the latter, and in December Salmon declined his request to get his certification back in two years, stating as her reasoning, “Dr. Dance pleaded guilty to perjury, which is a crime of moral turpitude under Maryland law. His conduct involved ‘fraud’ and his false statements, designed to hide his secondary income as a consultant, showed ‘intentional dishonesty for purposes of personal gain.’ The regulation requires that the moral turpitude ‘bears directly on the individual’s ability to teach.’ In this case, because Dr. Dance was an administrator, the offence must bear directly on his ability to lead…. The false statements were not the result of an innocent omission but rather part of an ongoing effort to mislead the school system while he personally profited from the work that he might otherwise have been barred from doing. Dr. Dance lied on multiple occasions, misled board members, and abused the public trust. Revocation of his educator certificate is therefore appropriate. For the reasons stated herein, I REVOKE Dr. Dance’s Maryland educator certificate,” Salmon said.
Dance was convicted on four counts of perjury last year for failing to report $147,000 in income on his 2012, 2013 and 2015 financial disclosure statements, money he earned consulting for other school systems and organizations while leading BCPS, the country’s 25th largest school system. Roughly $90,000 of the income was earned while he worked for a school system vendor.
He was sentenced to serve six months in a Baltimore County detention center, but was granted a transfer to a Henrico County jail near his home in Virginia where he served four of the six-month sentence. He was released in August.
In a correspondence with Salmon immediately preceding her decision, Dance apologized and said, “I do look forward to hopefully being able to serve the students of Maryland in the future if given the chance.”
Dance will be eligible to reapply for his Maryland educator certificate in 10 years, while Virginia requires that he wait five years to have his superintendent licenses reinstated.
As part of Virginia State Department of Education’s protocol, state education departments across the country were also notified through a clearinghouse about his superintendent license terminations, documents show.