BALTIMORE CO., Md. (WJZ) — With a deadline just three weeks away, the Baltimore County School Board has voted to keep the current interim superintendent in the position for another year. But their vote means nothing without higher approval.
The school board pushed forward once again Thursday and voted for Dr. Verletta White to be the interim superintendent of schools for the upcoming year.
The decision divided a board where some wanted to interview other candidates.
But a majority wondered about the cause of the sudden pushback.
White has been serving as the interim after State Superintendent Dr. Karen Salmon rejected the board’s vote to make White the permanent superintendent, citing an ethics violation.
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.
“People go along with decisions that are made because there is a supermajority. Well, I will remind this board and this community that there was a super majority when Dallas Dance was reappointed,” school board member Kathleen Causey said.
Salmon rejected White twice for the permanent role, but in a recent letter, she also indicated she’d be willing to allow White to serve for one more year on an interim basis.
“But it would be nice to finally know where we are going to end because that puts everyone up in the air as to what things could be put into place,” said Abby Beytin with the Teachers Association of Baltimore County.
White was absent from Thursday night’s meeting, but two-thirds of the board supported her.
“She’s the right person for a host of reasons. One is her length of experience as an educator, her commitment to this system, the board support that she has received from administrators. Eighty-five percent of all administrators said them at they’ve supported her. She’s received great support for educators. She’s the real deal,” school board member Nicholas Stewart said.
[Reporter: “Will Dr. White do a good job?]
“That remains to be seen,” Causey said.
This will be the third time in recent weeks that the board has sent a request regarding White to Salmon. The difference this time around is it will be for an interim position and not a permanent role.
If Karen Salmon approves this vote, White’s interim term will start in July 1.