Author Archives: case-admin-user

CASE Comments to the Board Mar 14, 2023

Dear Chairwoman Mrs. Lichter, Vice Chair Mrs. Harvey, Superintendent Dr. Williams, and Members of the Board,

Thank you for the opportunity to speak on behalf of CASE.

I’d like to speak to you tonight about two issues.

The first issue is the STAR ratings. It is important that we as educators are accountable for student learning, but I am concerned that the STAR system of ranking schools creates a confusing and misleading picture of what is happening in schools. Rating systems like STAR assume everyone comes to the table with the same resources and opportunities. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Variability is the norm. Students are different, and the challenges they face happen at the community, school, and family level.

It is important to remember that the STAR ratings are a snapshot in time. The rankings don’t explain where schools started and how schools and students have grown. And most importantly the STAR ratings don’t provide a corrective action plan for moving forward based on the individual and real challenges student, schools, and communities face. I’m not against accountability, but rating systems like STAR mislead the public into believing that one school is good, and one school is bad based on the ratings. As you visit schools, you will see excellence in schools with a one-star rating and you will see room for improvement in schools with a 5 star rating.

The second issue I’d like to bring to your attention is changes to COMAR when disciplining students with IEPs that have exhibited dangerous behavior like weapons possession and fighting. The law limits and prohibits the suspension and expulsion of students that exhibit dangerous behaviors if those behaviors are a manifestation of the student’s disabilities. The law limits the use of virtual learning for these students. What the law doesn’t do is provide direction and support as well as resources to schools and school districts in providing appropriate placements and supports for these students. Teachers and administrators feel unheard and under resourced when asking for support in providing an appropriate education for theses students. The current law makes students and staff feel unsafe.

I often hear board members say to staff, “How can we help?” This is how you can help. Lobby at the state and national levels for the resources and guidance needed to provide appropriate educational supports to students struggling with behavioral challenges. Ask for processes that are rigorous and funded, but streamlined to get students the supports they need quickly. It would be an important step in making schools safer. Just ask your child’s teacher. Just ask your children.

Thank you for your time.

—Billy Burke, Executive Director

CASE Comments to the Board Feb 14, 2023

Good evening, Chairwoman Mrs. Lichter, Vice Chairwoman Mrs. Harvey, Superintendent Dr. Williams, and members of the board,

Thank you for the opportunity to speak on behalf of CASE.

Dr. Williams, CASE would like to thank you for your service to Baltimore County, and we wish you nothing but success as you finish your work here and plan your next chapter.

I have two items I would like to discuss this evening. The first item is a call for stability as we prepare for change. I understand there may be a need to transfer administrators, but please consider leaving people where they are unless they’ve made requests or there is an urgent need. And as we begin to hire assistant principals and principals and central office leaders, please consider BCPS employees first. It will be important to maintain historical knowledge as we move forward.

The second item has to do with principal and administrator safety and protection. CASE members understand that when they take on leadership positions they are subject to public criticism. But as their union representation I am not seeing public criticism. What I see is people using social media to speculate, spread false information, and even lie about school administrators. CASE believes that parents and the community should be strong advocates for students and hold administrators accountable, but they too should be held accountable when they make false and slanderous accusations. There is a way to communicate truth without exposing students or violating their rights. BCPS leadership and the board must speak out against this abuse.

This week, I had to support an administrative team whose lives have been threatened by a parent. Not one threat but multiple threats. There have been “no trespass” letters issued and peace orders acquired by the administrators from the courthouse. The peace order should have been acquired by the system. Having the administrator acquire the order actually puts the system at risk. The parent response to the “no trespass” letter was, “You have to leave the building at some point, I’ll just get you then.” More needs to be done. We can’t wait until something horrible happens. We can have courage and act and still maintain people’s rights. We can have courage and act and still maintain a relationship with parents and the community. We need you to help. We need you to protect. We need you to lead.

—Billy Burke, Executive Director

Jan 2023 CASE Executive Director Work Summary

Hello CASE Members,

It has certainly been a news-filled week. CASE would like to thank Dr. Williams for his service to Baltimore County. We wish him well as he prepares to start a new chapter. Business is as usual, and I will continue to meet weekly with the Chief of Staff to address issues important to CASE. We should expect the board to approve a contract to do a search. There are lots of rumors out there. Try not to engage. I’ll let you know as soon as I have any information about next steps or if anything is changing.

I am working with BCPS to ensure the compensation package announced in September is implemented fairly among our members. There are a few points where we disagree, and I have proposed solutions and submitted one grievance in an area where we could not reach agreement.

The superintendent has presented his proposed budget to the board. It contained a step increase, but it did not contain a COLA. We will continue to negotiate on this matter.

I met with a group of secondary administrators to discuss hot topics. I presented these topics to the Chief of Staff during my last two meetings with her.

We are in the process of updating the CASE website.

Quote for January:

Understanding yourself is power. Loving yourself is freedom. Forgiving yourself is peace. Being yourself is bliss.Unknown

Best regards,


  • Spoke at BOE meeting
  • Reopening Plan Stakeholder meeting
  • Strategic Planning with the 5 Unions
  • PAR for Administrators
  • Weekly Discussions with the Chief of Staff
  • Monthly Meeting with Superintendent
  • Monthly Meeting with Union Presidents and Superintendent
  • Discussion on Lead Teacher and Administrator Roles for Summer
  • SSAA
  • Discuss Grievance with CASE Lawyer and Identify Relevant Legal Precedent
  • TABCO – Teacher Transfer Process
  • VALIC/AIG changed to Corebridge Financial – Asked to Present at Our Next Meeting (Not the correct forum)
  • MSDE Reporting Requirements – Food Services

Member Support Topics

  • Implementation of Compensation Package
  • Salary Scale
  • Rules/Timeline for Teachers Calling Out Sick
  • Changes to APPD Dates
  • Teacher Administrator Mediation
  • Inappropriate Behavior of Special Education Advocate
  • Associate Principal Internship Substitutes

CASE Comments to the Board Jan 10, 2023

Good evening, Chairwoman Mrs. Lichter, Vice-chair Mrs. Harvey, Superintendent Dr. Williams, and Members of the Board,

Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you on behalf of the members of CASE.

In its simplest terms your role as school board members is to ensure that the students of Baltimore County Public Schools are prepared to live, work, and compete in a global world. You do that in 3 important ways: You hire the superintendent; you provide governance for policies aligned to the vision and mission of the school system and community members; and you provide governance for the budget by approving the proposed budget and monitoring expenditures through the contract process.

I still believe the process for creating and approving the budget with you and the county executive and county council is convoluted, but that speech is for another night.

Tonight, you will hear the superintendent’s proposed budget. Not everything can be accomplished in one budget year. It’s important to have a clear, phased approach that allows you to react to new state and federal mandates and includes improving buildings and infrastructure, as well as the implementation of new curriculum.

The goal of the budget is to improve academic performance for all students. The goal of the budget is to remove predictable barriers that impact students because of their race, poverty level, ability to speak English, and participation in special education services. There are many priorities that compete for the budget. It will be important for you to understand short-term and long-term plans for implementing those priorities.

The budget priorities for CASE remain constant:

  1. Fair compensation and benefits, while maintaining work–life balance.
  2. Professional development based on research and evidence-based practices that improve leadership, instruction, and student behavior.
  3. Processes that are communicated, efficient, and transparent for managing human resources, payroll, and employee and retiree services.
  4. A plan for addressing the staffing crisis that includes recruitment, retention, and operating within available resources and innovating new ways of providing access.
  5. Prioritizing staffing for students receiving special education services and historically underserved and underperforming communities.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak on behalf of CASE.

Billy Burke, Executive Director

Membership Meeting, October 2022

Cocktail Reception

In October, all CASE members were invited to attend a cocktail reception. These general membership meetings happen twice a year. At this event, Executive Director, Billy Burke, spoke to the members. His presentation included information about the recent changes to the compensation package. Following the presentation, CASE members had the opportunity to ask questions, which Billy answered. This presentation was captured in the video below, taken on October 24, 2022.

3 Minutes Aug 10, 2021

Good evening, Mrs. Scott, Mrs. Henn, Dr. Williams, and members of the board. Thank you for the opportunity to speak before you tonight.

This week is week 5 for me as executive director of CASE, and I’d like to share with you the concerns my members have brought forward.

Every time I speak, you will hear me ask for a seat for CASE at the table as plans are being developed. The employees and the families are nearest the work and will need to implement the changes. When we are not included from the beginning, you miss the opportunity to create buy-in and to hear possible obstacles from the practitioners.

There should be a simple cycle for implementing changes.

  1. Staff and stakeholders should create options to be implemented.
  2. Options should be shared with staff and the public.
  3. Feedback should be collected and analyzed for practicality.
  4. Appropriate changes should be made to the options based on time and resources.
  5. And then the plan is announced.

Very often the plans are designed without our input, and we are asked to review moments before the plan is announced. Everyone is left without time to process and problem solve to ensure a strong implementation.

CASE administrators are concerned about hiring staff in time to open school. There were a great number of resignations and retirements this year. We recognize we have just completed two of the hardest years in educational history, but we need to become more strategic in our retention and recruitment efforts. CASE is encouraged that experienced senior staff has been assigned to work on recruitment and retention.

One of the most fulfilling parts of my job is to address member concerns. Most concerns center around unrealistic workloads. When staff contact me, I am inspired by the passion and work ethic they bring to their jobs. Consistently CASE members bring me problems, but they also bring me multiple solutions. Staff has been performing under great pressure for the last two years. Diamonds are formed under great pressure. CASE members are diamonds. We can’t afford to lose any additional priceless resources.

I believe unrealistic workloads is directly related to resignations and retirements. It is time to seriously plan to reduce inefficiencies. CASE will be forming a workgroup to examine what we need to keep doing, what we need to stop doing and what we need to begin doing, to make our jobs more manageable. We invite TABCO and BCPS staff to be part of the workgroup. We will bring recommendations to the board and to Dr. Williams.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak this evening.

Billy Burke, Executive Director

Tom DeHart’s Retirement Party

In July 2021, CASE members were invited to attend the retirement party for former Executive Director Tom DeHart, and celebrate new Executive Director Billy Burke.

MOU Regarding Vacation Time

between the Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS)
and the
Council of Administrative and Supervisory Employees (CASE)

Annual Maximum Accumulation and Use of Vacation Time

The Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) and the Council of Administrative and Supervisory Employees (CASE) (hereinafter jointly referred to as “Parties”) hereby enter into this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which addresses issues pertaining to the accumulation and use of compensatory and vacation time earned by CASE represented employees during FY21.

Whereas, the Parties acknowledge the unusual circumstances imposed on the school system and its employees by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the ransomware attack of November 24, 2020, and

Whereas, due to the ransomware attack and the resultant loss of operating systems and data to include leave balances, and

Whereas, Article 9.15 of the Agreement between the Parties establishes the annual cumulative maximum of vacation days for twelve-month employees at forty-five (45) days,

Now therefore, the CASE and BCPS agree to the following adjustments to the aforementioned Agreement article:

  • For FY 21 and FY 22, the cumulative vacation accrual cap for CASE represented employees will not be limited to a maximum of forty-five (45) days.
  • For FY 21, hours in excess of the accrual cap as of June 30, 2021 shall not be converted to rolled personal illness leave.
  • If a CASE represented employee separates from BCPS employment during the term of this MOU, vacation payout will remain capped at forty-five (45) days.
  • All accrued vacation days as of June 30, 2021 shall be available for use by CASE represented employees up through December 31, 2022.
  • Hours in excess of the accrual cap as of January 1, 2023 shall be converted to rolled personal illness leave.

All other stipulations of Article 9.15 shall remain in effect. This MOU will expire on December 31, 2022.

View the Signed MOU

3 Minutes May 4, 2021

Good evening, Chair Scott, Vice Chair Henn, Dr. Williams, and members of the Board:

At the last Board meeting at your request, System leadership shared a plan for the reopening of schools for in-person instruction on a four-day schedule. All preK–5 students would be eligible, as well as data-targeted secondary groups of students. The primary difference is the CDC metric which allows 3-foot social distancing at the elementary level and remains at 6 feet for secondary students.

School leadership teams led by their principals have been hard at work since the morning following that meeting, using pertinent data and physical attributes of their schools to determine needs, identify students, reach out to them, and work with transportation to prepare for their return on May 10th and 17th.

I had not planned on speaking tonight, but I have heard rumblings that some on the Board may want to change the plan at this, the 11th hour, and bring back any secondary student who wants to return across the System. I am sure that there are Board members whose constituents advocate for this, but let us review some facts.

  • The 6-foot social distancing requirement at the secondary level prevents every student from returning at this point, which is the foundation of any plan.
  • School leadership teams have used the data and the Board’s own Equity focus to identify specific, targeted groups of students that would benefit the most from face-to-face instruction and spent every bit of the last two weeks planning for their return.
  • Each school is different, and decisions must be made based on data and physical limitations. Our schools are not cookie cutter. So, numbers will vary from school to school.
  • Site-based leadership under the direction of System leaders have used data and an equity lens to drive the number of students identified to return. That is what the leadership in the buildings have been hired, trained, and paid to do.

Both System and school-based leadership have worked diligently to respond to requests for full return to face-to-face instruction. But in the simplest terms there are CDC limitations which preclude a total return of every student at the secondary level.

An arbitrary change to our reopening plan at this point would show a complete lack of respect and appreciation for the hard work these leadership teams have done over these last two weeks. Is that the message you want to send?

A motion from this Board to return any student who wants, no matter the metrics, is an example of the concern I shared with this Board at the last meeting where I reviewed the difference between the Board’s role of governance versus the hired professionals’ job of operations. So, I will be plain. Stay in your lane. Isn’t that what is asked of every employee?

And as an aside, I find it distressingly ironic that members of this Board would dictate full in-person return of all students, no matter the metrics, when there has not been a full in-person return of this Board.

Thank you.

Tom DeHart

Executive Director, CASE

3 Minutes April 20, 2021

Good evening, Chair Scott, Vice Chair Henn, Dr. Williams, and members of the Board:

Tonight, I would like to speak with you about Governance or Guidance versus Operations or Management, as it relates to the function of this Board. I will reference the Board of Education of Baltimore County Board Handbook, last revised in 2015.

I cite in pertinent part, sections, and components of the Board Handbook to highlight the concept of Governance versus Operations.


The BOARD OF EDUCATION OF BALTIMORE COUNTY guides the Baltimore County Public School System…

The Board’s Vision

The Board of Education, as the governing body for the County’s school system, will seek in every way to make the school system among the highest performing school systems in the nation…

The Board’s Mission

The Board, as the governing body of the school system, fulfills its mission by adopting policies …

The Board’s Norms of Behavior

Annually following its summer retreat, the Board will adopt norms of behavior and conduct. The Board’s most current norms are attached as Appendix A.

1. Practice Governance—The role of the Board is to govern through policy, budget adoption, approval of school boundaries, and hiring the superintendent.

This quote is from the Handbook:

“The Board’s responsibility is not to manage the school system or influence the daily operation of the school system. The Board will hold the superintendent accountable for the successful day-to-day management of the school system.”

I bring this up tonight because there continues to be instances where this Board has crossed the line from governance to operations. This causes a great deal of anxiety and frustration for administrators, teachers, and support personnel who are then required to pivot after preparations and plans have been designed and developed by the System. And over the last year, every single employee has been asked to pivot enough to last a lifetime.

You have asked the Superintendent to plan for the in-person return of students for 4 days per week. He and his team will share that plan with you tonight, including the schedule for that return.

CASE encourages you to do your due diligence in reviewing and questioning the plan, which is what you were elected or appointed to do. But please let the people who are charged with the day-to-day operations of the System do their jobs. That is what your Handbook, and common sense, prescribes.

Thank you,
Tom DeHart
Executive Director, CASE