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Eye on Annapolis

The Daily Record's Maryland state government blog

Maryland State Department of Education hires Foose

Renee Foose, the former Howard County Schools superintendent who was ousted in May by that county’s Board of Education, has landed a new position with the Maryland Department of Education.

Dr. Renee Foose. (File)

Dr. Renee Foose. (File)

Foose was hired Tuesday by the department as the assistant state superintendent, assessment, accountability, and information technology. Her salary and start date were not immediately known.

William Reinhard, a spokesman for the department, said Foose’s salary was public but that  he “did not have it.”

Documents provided to the Board of Education show the salary should be in the range of $92,333-$123,236.

Reinhard also did not answer questions about whether Foose’s position was an existing one or newly created. Foose’s hiring was part of the Maryland State Department of Education State School Board agenda for Tuesday.

Foose, who earned $273,000 in Howard County, was ousted by the Board of Education following a bitter dispute over her management style. The relationship deteriorated to the point that both Foose and the board filed lawsuits against each other.

In May, the board reached a settlement in which Foose would retire and the board would pay her more than $1.6 million, including an amount that would fully fund her retirement.

Hired in 2012, Foose presided over the 55,000-student school system at a time when it was widely acknowledged to be one of the best in the nation.

Admirers praised her commitment to addressing racial disparities in the district and to improving and broadening the curriculum. Critics, however, said she was inaccessible and combative.

Parents who attempted to get information about the extent of a mold problem at district schools and about other issues said the district, under her leadership, stonewalled their efforts to get answers.

In 2016, the General Assembly, led by a bipartisan group of Howard County legislators, took the almost unprecedented step of directing the state’s new public access ombudswoman to investigate how public records requests were handled by the district. That report found that the district delayed, denied and otherwise made it difficult for some residents to obtain documents and data under the Maryland Public Information Act.

 


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