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Baltimore County Principals Divided Over Financial Disclosure Form

Some principals are concerned the forms are too intrusive.

Some Baltimore County principals are outraged by the level of scrutiny in a new financial disclosure form they are required to submit.

The 14-page document—which is also mandated for the superintendent, school board members and other school officials—requires the principals to divulge personal information such as the cost of their houses and rental properties, and information about their spouses' finances, according to The Baltimore Sun. The form was created in response to a 2010 state ethics law that changed reporting requirements for school boards.

School board president Lawrence Schmidt told The Sun that the form was due on April 30, and only about half of county principals turned it in.

Tom Evans, principal of , told The Sun that the form was "too intrusive."

"There're questions about personal properties. There're questions about debt," Evans told Patch in a phone interview. "It's very uncomfortable."

Evans, who hasn't submitted his form, added that he hopes the school board would return to a simpler, less invasive disclosure form. The Sun reported that principals who don't file could face termination.

"I've been campaigning for [the simpler form] for the last six months," Evans said. "Hopefully we'll be able to work it out."

But not all principals are against the mandate.

, who recently wrapped up his of Hereford High School, said he didn't mind filling out the forms, although the process was laborious. 

"[The form] did ask for a lot of details," Last said. "I don't really have anything to hide, so I didn't have a problem."

Last acknowledged that as a new principal, he generally goes along with what the Board of Education requires without objection.

"Maybe if I'm looking back at it in another 10 years—really scrutinizing it—I'll think differently," he said.

Evans said he doesn't hold Last's opinion against him, but agrees that the first-time principal may have a change of perspective in the future. He added that he has no grudge against any other principal not objecting to the form.

"Everybody's different," Evans said.

Tim June 25, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Buck: unfortunately, the Supreme Court just doubled down on their Citizens United decision today.
Jennifer Tanko June 25, 2012 at 07:06 PM
I think this really crosses a line. The questions are highly inappropriate, particularly the ones concerning spouses. I understand if the administrators have ethical concerns they need to look into but dragging everyone else in these folks' lives into the matter is uncalled for. I can't really get behind questions that require disclosure of property value either. Attempting to force principals and other education officials to answer questionably ethical questions in an attempt to enforce ethics is ludicrous. The whole system suffers from this kind of misguided logic.
Buck Harmon June 25, 2012 at 07:36 PM
The Supreme Court is supremely corrupted by the money rulers...nothing more, nothing less. They are human beings that have been politically bought and paid for and should be among the first to go straight to hell.
Buck Harmon June 25, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Well said..
Morna McDermott June 26, 2012 at 05:26 PM
i find this VERY interesting and not all too coincidental with the rise of 'reform" measures we can expect to see with our new State Superintendent who happens to be a former Leader Scholar with the Eli Broad Foundation. You must read: http://parentsacrossamerica.org/2011/04/how-to-tell-if-your-school-district-is-infected-by-the-broad-virus/ to see what we can anticipate happening to our schools

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