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Union-State Board Skirmish Catches Md. Governor in Crossfire

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The state school board and teachers' unions in Maryland are at odds over a plan that would give teachers more authority to set policies for their profession.

And Gov. Parris N. Glendening, who received support from the unions in his campaign last fall, appears to be caught in the middle.

The Democratic Governor is under increasing pressure from the state board to oppose a bill that would give more regulatory control to the state's teaching-standards board, a third of whose members are appointed by the unions.

The Professional Standards and Teacher Education Board was created in 1991 to strike a balance between the state board and the Maryland State Teachers' Association, which sometimes clashed over policies.

The standards board now shares authority for teacher certification with the state school board, which can override the former's actions with a supermajority vote.

Under the new plan, which was passed by the Senate this month, the state board would be stripped of that power. Instead, the 25-member standards board would have final say over rules and regulations.

About a dozen states have autonomous boards to set and enforce standards for teachers. In some of those, teachers hold a majority of the seats. (See related story, 11/30/88

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