BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The state superintendent of schools has denied a second push to appoint Baltimore County’s interim superintendent to a permanent position.
“Personally, I’m disappointed,” Baltimore County School Board Chairman Ed Gilliss said.
Gilliss, along with a majority of school board members, petitioned the state superintendent to promote Dr. Verletta White.
“She is locally rooted. She has been in the Baltimore County school system for 15 years,” Gilliss said.
In a rejection letter, State Superintendent Dr. Karen Salmon said she has “considered all the information” but her “reservations remain.”
An ethics panel found White failed to properly report outside income and used the “prestige” of her job to get consulting work. Her predecessor, Dallas Dance, faced similar allegations. But unlike Dance, White has never been charged with a crime.
Some board members wanted to take a look at other candidates.
“How many resumes were reviewed by the Board of Education for the permanent superintendent position? Zero,” school board member Kathleen Causey said.
In an 8-4 vote in April, the county school board offered White a four-year contract that was set to begin July 1. But Salmon rejected White’s appointment last month.
“There are too many questions that come down in my mind for us to move forward without taking time to thoroughly investigate,” school board member Roger Hayden said.
Baltimore County residents have been watching the back and forth.
“My thing is, if she’s OK to be put in the position temporarily, and she did a fine job, why can’t we just transition her in?” resident Cathy Davis said.
“Unfortunately, in this case, the council has their opinion, the superintendent has hers,” Ridge Zittle of Baltimore County said.
Councilman Julian Jones says the decision to reject White is outrageous and the governor should intervene.
“We pay for the schools, we send out children to the schools, we certainly have a right to decide who is going to lead our schools,” Jones said.
The school board meets later this month to discuss who they will choose for an interim superintendent for the upcoming year. Yet again, White may be recommended on a interim basis.
Salmon has indicated she would approve a year-long extension for White but only as the interim superintendent.