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De Lacy Says She'll Ask 'Tough Questions' as School Board Member

The former teacher also says redistricting process is 'broken.'

Ann De Lacy has a lot of questions about the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS), and she plans to bring them all to the table as a newly elected member of the Board of Education. 

“I will continue to work very hard to make sure that things are open, public and that we have a truly world class school system for every single student in Howard County,” she said Wednesday morning. “I’m going to ask tough questions and expect honest answers.”

In a race that at times saw candidates separated by less than one percent, De Lacy came in second place, with 16.6 percent of the vote. Incumbents Janet Siddiqui and Ellen Flynn Giles came in first and third place, respectively. 

Coming in fourth was Bob Ballinger, with 15.35 percent; David Gertler came in third with 14.95 percent and Jackie Scott was sixth with 14.23 perrcent. 

De Lacy was endorsed by the Howard County Education Association, the teachers' union of which she was once president, and the African American Coalition of Howard County.

The HCEA had also endorsed Scott and Gertler, while the AACHC also endorsed Scott and Siddiqui.

Find a full list of endorsements here.

De Lacy said she spent Election Day at Swansfield Elementary School. “I wanted to see all of my neighbors, it’s where I’m comfortable,” she said. “It’s my community.”

Being comfortable around schools was one of the credentials De Lacy, a former schoolteacher, brought to this contest. She has taught in the Howard County School System for decades, served as president of the teachers’ union and is a member of the HCPSS Operating Budget Committee.

That experience, she said, means, “I know where the money is, if I don’t know, I know where to find it.” 

De Lacy said she wants to know if that money is being spent wisely. To do that, she said, the school system needs to institute an audit system so that the Board can see if programs they’ve funded are effective. 

De Lacy also wants to bring change to a redistricting policy that she said under-enrolls some schools while the number of students who qualify for free and reduced lunches is growing in schools just down the road. 

“The redistricting process is broken," she said, but "People don’t know." 

“They don’t know that right up the street from Swansfield [Elementary Schoool] where there’s 38 percent free and reduced lunch, 10 minutes away is Clarksville [Elementary School] and they have 1 percent, and it’s under enrolled.”

Information is powerful, De Lacy said, and she wants to make sure it is available to stakeholders for the benefit of students in a school district that has the possibility – particularly with a new superintendent – to be visionary. 

“I just think that there is so much we can do,” she said, “And I can’t wait.”

She will join the board officially in December.

This article has been edited to indicate De Lacy came in second place and Giles came in third. 

Jack November 09, 2012 at 05:23 AM
The hcpss in the past redistricted children to raise test scores and create the illusion of AYP. We have schools like Craddlerock which because they were a K-8 did not get reported and recieve the help these children were entitled to . Reservoir had a huge problem which resulted in the transfer of the principal. Children are not allowed to particpate in extracurricular activities and guess what it effects minorities the most, Every school does not have access to the same course offerings and again we see segregation. Patch just did an article on 47 children who are finalists for the National Merit Scholarship http://columbia.patch.com/articles/howard-county-announces-merit-scholarship-finalists and guess what, RiverHill and Centennial took 25 spots. The hcpss is segregated. All depends on which side of the tracks you are born on as to the quality of education you get here. The question is how to fix it? How to give every child the same chance? These problems have been here for years neglected and festering.Right now you all should be watching the redistricting process which is clearly screwed up and the media should be covering it .
Brandie Jefferson November 09, 2012 at 05:39 AM
Sue, thanks for noticing that. I'm going to fix that now. De Lacy was second, with 16.6 percent, Giles was third with 16.4 percent.
JMBnMD November 09, 2012 at 05:54 AM
First -CONGRATS to you ANN DELACY!!! Secondly, much love and support to the Ho. Co. Teachers Union and the African American Coalition for unwavering support! For those who continue to assail your record --which they cannot touch--shame on you! Please explain to me how 33 years of educational excellence, past Ho. Co. Teachers Union President, present Ho. Co. Board Operating Budget Member, a volunteer in our schools, cannot provide expertise and educational "insider" insight which is sorely needed ---REALLY??? How much negative energy and venom does one have to spew to negate what she will bring to the table! As a past teacher of my children, Kelly Baumgardner and Derek Murphy, Ann Delacy has ALWAYS been committed, compassionate, and driven to fostering educational success for our children. She has humbly kept, and, continually fostered relationships between parents, teachers, and, our community, in the forefront of her mission to serve. Ann--God Bless You! Listen, don't listen to those detractors, or "haters", like MC Hammer says --"they can't touch you"!
MG42 November 09, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Yes, a wise man that MC Hammer. I think he discovered that the bank can touch him, and most of his assets which they repossessed.
Mary Z November 12, 2012 at 03:24 PM
It doesn't sound like anything was said against DeLacy, just the idea of shuffling kids based on income. I actually like the idea of basic education principles being brought back to the classroom. As far as redistricting though, let's solve the problems, not just re-shuffle them. You want to see improvement? Don't just mix the low test scores in with the high test scores - all that will do is make it appear that we don't have a problem, and guess what, the low test scores will still be low. If the FARM test scores are lower, let's address that. How about an after school program at the school with the highest FARM %, allow students from other schools to attend if necessary and provide the extra education they may not be getting at home for one reason or another (parents working, not as educated, not available). Let's improve the education for those not getting the best Howard County has to offer, not just shove it under the rug with redisctricting.

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