Meredith Bond, an experienced professor and administrator, filed her petition to run for the Orange Board of Education during the Nov. 5 general election. She said that she wants to offer Orange students an outstanding education while being fiscally responsible at the same time.
“I’m laser focused on one thing,” she said. “I want to take a look at how well our students are doing and how well we’re utilizing the resources we have.”
Dr. Bond, 64, has lived in Hunting Valley for 43 years. She is a professor and dean of the College of Sciences and Health Professions at Cleveland State University. Dr. Bond said that she spends much of her time mentoring CSU students. Over the summer, she was involved in a program called Operation STEM to address the achievement gap for math readiness in college.
According to Dr. Bond, she has the knowledge and experience to help Orange stretch its dollars. She said that she manages a $20 million budget at Cleveland State University, but the budget keeps decreasing every year. She pointed out that Orange has the second highest spending per pupil in the state at $24,589 per year, yet other local districts have similar or higher scores on the state report card and spend less.
“I’m really aware of the need to constantly evaluate ways to provide quality education and ensure that we get full value for the dollars we spend and make the best of our resources,” she said. “Seeing what’s going on in Orange shows a number of red flags about how our tax dollars are being used.”
Dr. Bond pointed out that the school district’s five-year forecast predicts higher expenditures than revenues for the current fiscal year through 2023. She said that she will start to attend Orange Board of Education meetings and begin to analyze the school district’s budget to see where money is being spent.
When asked about her thoughts on a recent attempt to strip millions from the Orange school district by reducing property taxes only in Hunting Valley, Dr. Bond said that she did not want to look at the past.
“Yes I live in Hunting Valley but my focus is looking ahead,” she said.
If elected, Dr. Bond said that she would like to look into raising funds from alumni, calling those donations “a fantastic untapped resource.” She also said that she views education from “cradle to career” to give students the best education possible from an early age. Dr. Bond said that she would like to talk to parents of current students and recent graduates to see what worked well for their children.
“I’m here to help with school students and increase success and be fiscally responsible,” she said. “That’s where my head and heart are.”
Dr. Bond will be running against two incumbent board members, Beth Wilson-Fish and Melanie Weltman, for two open seats.