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Second Term For Dance in Baltimore County Schools

John Lee

Baltimore County School Superintendent Dallas Dance will remain on the job. The County Board of Education voted 10-2 Tuesday night to offer Dance a new four year contract. The "no" votes came from two new board members appointed by Gov. Larry Hogan, Ann Miller and Kathleen Causey.

After the vote, Dance got a standing ovation. Dance told the 12 member board he was humbled by the reappointment and that he considers them a team of 13. While they can disagree, Dance said, they should be respectful of each other, adding that the kids are watching.

He thanked the 175 principals in the county school system, as well as teachers, students, parents, and the government officials who hold the schools’ purse strings. And he said he is committed to staying four more years, if not more.

Dance said he wants to continue his $270 million plan to get laptops into the hands of all county students from first to twelfth grade during his second term. The plan is currently being phased in. Dance says it’s important to offer a globally competitive education in Baltimore County.

The plan, however, has critics who say it’s too expensive and is happening too quickly with no quantitative measures for success. Last night the board heard from a parent, Sarah Rosen, who said the high tech initiative is a luxury they cannot afford. She said its depleting money that could be spent on things like more teachers, meals for needy students and air conditioning in schools.

The details of Dance’s new contract will have to be negotiated. He currently makes $275,000 a year on a contract that expires June 30.