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CUMBERLAND — After a brief discussion, Allegany County Board of Education members on Tuesday unanimously agreed to execute a contract with the Maryland Association of Boards of Education for help with a superintendent search.

The contract outlines the search process and responsibilities for MABE and Allegany County school board members, school system attorney Mike Llewellyn said.

MABE’s fee, based on the local board’s membership in the organization as well as the size of the school system, is $20,000 plus expenses.

Board member Robert Farrell asked if MABE would notify the ACPS board of bills “so we know where we’re at in expenses?”

The largest expenses the board could incur would be for board and candidate travel and accommodations, board member Ed Root said.

“We have no idea where they’re going to be when they’re selected to be a finalist (or) what it will cost to bring them here,” he said.

The board will be notified of expenses, President Tammy Fraley said. 

“We will be part of that process,” she said.

In May, former ACPS superintendent David Cox accepted a job in Tennessee.

In July, Farrell, board member David Bohn and former member Wayne Foote voted to appoint Jeff Blank as interim superintendent. 

In October, the three voted to ask the state to approve Blank as permanent superintendent.

Soon after, Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon denied the request because it came months before the statutory appointment period began.

In other ACPS news:

• The board met in executive session Feb. 4 to discuss issues, including termination of an employee.

• State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon, who has headed the state system since 2016, announced in December she will not seek another term. Her contract ends June 30. The Maryland State Board of Education will host regional forums to gather public input regarding the next state superintendent. Working with search firm Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, the forums aim to identify characteristics necessary to lead the state’s education system. Public input will also be solicited through an online survey. Information about access to the survey will be provided on the Maryland State Department of Education website once available. Locally, forums will be held at 3:30 and 7 p.m. Feb. 19 at Allegany High School, 900 Seton Drive, Cumberland.

• Spaces are available for students to enroll in after-school programs at each of the four middle schools. The programs run for three hours and include a meal, 30 minutes of outdoor play if weather permits, an hour each of academic and enrichment time, and a monthly field trip in the county. Contact the school office for an application form. 

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