Maxwell Can’t Fool Everybody

It looks like Kevin Maxwell’s campaign for more school money clearly isn’t fooling everybody.

First, Eric Hartley in yesterday’s Capital:

Money isn’t the only answer. But the thing about government bureaucracies is they don’t know any other answers. They’re not equipped to come up with new ways of doing things that take account of reality; they just demand more money. Nice work if you can get it.

For all the rhetoric about how this money is needed for children and teachers, it helps to remember there were at last count 213 school employees making six figures. It goes without saying that not one of them is a teacher. Some of these folks have been getting bonuses or generous raises despite the tough times. Even Dr. Maxwell got a $6,000 bonus last year on top of his $231,000 salary. (“Personally, I would love to give you a bigger bonus,” the school board president said at the time.)

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By the way, Montgomery and Howard counties, with their vaunted schools, spend just over $12,500 per student. That’s not much more than Anne Arundel and less than Baltimore. Money isn’t the only answer.

A parent of two kids in the school system writes the Post and doesn’t have much positive to say about Maxwell, either:

This is nothing new. Mr. Maxwell has a well-established pattern of engaging in thinly veiled public relations stunts and maintaining an antagonistic stance year-round with elected officials and parents. That route is much easier for him than engaging in constructive dialogue with all stakeholders to develop a realistic, comprehensive long-term plan to improve county schools. Since his appointment, he and the Board of Education have done nothing to foster positive relations with elected officials, parents and the community at large.

Mr. Maxwell consistently expands the size of the school’s administrative bureaucracy, ignores recommendations for greater efficiency and uses the threat of cuts in the classroom to instill fear and anger in parents toward the council and executive. His long-term plan for school achievement lacks any accountability, which is apparent in both the current performance of the system and how he conducts himself in office.

It’s easy to see that Maxwell’s whining about funding issues, his refusal to actually prioritize school spending, and his refusal to cut the fat from Riva Road are not winning him many fans, either inside or outside of the County Government. I have documented for some time Maxwell’s largesse directed at the sustainment of the overbloated, unnecessary school system bureaucracy. By reducing some of the redundancy and by reducing the high paying non-teaching positions located at school system headquarters Maxwell would be able to direct more money towards the classroom without raising anyone’s taxes.

But as we have seen with other lifelong educrats, Kevin Maxwell cares more about feeding the beast, more about sustaining the overbloated school system bureaucracy, than he does with teaching kids and paying teachers. Maxwell, unfortunately, is one of a line line of administrators throughout our state and nation who puts the agenda first, and the kids second. Until we break that cycle, it’s never going to change…


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