Pollitt “Withdraws” Waiver Request

SALISBURY, MD – In a press release Wicomico County Executive Rick Pollitt has announced that he is withdrawing the county’s request for a maintenance of effort (MOE) waiver from the state Board of Education:

May 21, 2012 — Salisbury, MD Wicomico County Executive Richard M. Pollitt, Jr., announced today that he has notified the Maryland State Board of Education that he is withdrawing the county’s application for a waiver of the Maintenance of Effort (MOE) standard for funding public education for Fiscal Year 2013.  Pollitt was to attend a hearing scheduled for tomorrow in Baltimore to appeal to the State Board but the withdrawal negates that presentation.

In a letter to the State Board, Pollitt said, “Having our MOE standard re-based under the terms of the State legislation, I am now able to proceed with my original budget to the Wicomico County Council. That budget provides the full amount originally requested by our local Board of Education, not only achieving MOE but adding more than $500,000 in new funding, as well.”

The Daily Times has transcribed Pollitt’s press release, plus a few minor factual errors, in today’s edition.

Unfortunately, this announcement is just spin.  While it is true that the waiver request was no longer necessary, it was also nothing but a PR exercise.  The request was DOA when Wicomico County Board of Education and the local teachers’ union rejected the request.  Without their support, the state board was not going to grant the request.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It isn’t spin that the waiver is no longer needed regardless of approval. I guess those assumptions about the budget that you were so quick to dismiss were actually accurate. And that you would imply/insinuate there were back room deals to achieve this relief is simply beneath someone who prides himself on being objective. When you have facts, let us know.

    • G. A. Harrison says:

      Curiously, there was no mention of “back room deals”. The facts are pretty simple. Rick applied for a waiver. The WCBOE and the WCEA said no. Waiver was dead. That was a month ago. We should also note that Rick has not come to the council with an amendment for his budget to make up for the teacher pension shift. That is because Pollitt likes to ride in at the 11th hour so that the council has their collective backs to a wall.

      You will also note that this story was filed as analysis rather than straight news. Translation – we don’t claim that it is totally objective. We simply claim that the facts behind the argument are accurate.

      Nice try though.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Check your article May 7, 2012 for the back room reference. Don’t you remember when you call someone’s character into question albeit in a backhanded way by merely asking a question. I’ll continue to disagree that this is spin. I would say your “analysis” is the real spin.

    • G. A. Harrison says:

      The only post on the 7th that seems to apply is this one. Where am I calling someone’s character into question? If you are referring to my calling the WCBOE’s actions “extortion”, I’m in with good company – including the County Administrator.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Assuming Pollitt’s predictions come true, there is another question that must be asked – What back room promises has Pollitt made to legislators to get his bail out?

    Last sentence before extortion.

    • G. A. Harrison says:

      My apologies if you’re offended but Rick admitted that he met and “negotiated” with members of the legislature. Are you asserting that only Republicans can do backroom deals?

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m asserting that one can negotiate without it being a “backroom deal” which is generally interpreted as underhanded or sneaky. It has nothing to do with democrats or republicans.

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