Laslo Boyd

Laslo Boyd

Laslo Boyd's professional experience includes serving as education advisor to the Governor of Maryland, Acting Secretary of Higher Education, senior administrator in several higher education institutions and university professor.  His work in political campaigns has involved strategic communications, public opinion polling, and development of position papers.  Dr. Boyd has consulted for a wide range of clients in higher education, government, and business.  He has provided political commentary and analysis in both print and electronic media.

Laslo Boyd: Does Maryland Need a New Charter School Law?

By: Laslo Boyd The Hogan Administration has introduced legislation to revise the 2003 law that currently governs the establishment and operation of charter schools in Maryland.   That earlier law was championed by the last Republican governor of the State, Bob Ehrlich, and reflects a widespread view in the party that there should be more options for parents and students than just traditional public schools.  Committees in both the House of Delegates and the Senate recently held hearings on the Administration bill. Those hearings failed to answer many of the questions raised by legislators and left observers scratching their heads about the Administration’s intent.  The bill, as currently drafted, reads as if someone had cut and pasted from a handout for charter schools distributed at a meeting of the Republican Governors Association.  Clearly the bill’s drafters did not involve anyone at the Maryland State Department of Education in preparing the legislation. As... Continue reading
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Laslo Boyd: Raining on Larry Hogan's Parade

By: Laslo Boyd Last Friday, the House Committee on Environment and Transportation voted down a bill introduced at the request of the Hogan Administration that would have repealed the State’s stormwater remediation fee enacted in 2012.   The Senate companion bill me the same fate this Tuesday in the Senate Committee on Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs.  If the topic doesn’t ring a bell with you, perhaps you are more familiar with the phrase “rain tax.” In one of the most effective examples of political rebranding, Republicans have used that label to attack a law intended to reduce a significant source of pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.    To make matters worse, much of the media has adopted the practice of referring to the fee as the “rain tax”.   Whether out of laziness or an inability to resist a catchy phrase, the result is publicizing the argument of one side in a political... Continue reading
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Laslo Boyd: Barbara Mikulski's Incredible Voyage

By: Laslo Boyd It’s a long long way from the working class neighborhoods of East Baltimore to a seat as Chair of the United States Senate’s Appropriations Committee.  Equally remarkable is that Barbara Mikulski is much the same person today that she was at the start of her journey.Many of her closest friends are people she has known for decades, often predating her rise to elective office.   She may be a political rock star in Washington, but she comes back to Maryland almost every night.  Her approach to politics owes much to her earlier years as a social worker and community activist.  And yet Mikulski stands on the cutting edge of many contemporary issues.  In a chamber teeming with climate change deniers and science skeptics, she has been a fierce advocate for NASA, NIH, and the importance of basic science research.  Since Monday you have been reading accolades thrown at Mikulski... Continue reading
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Laslo Boyd: Larry Hogan and Scott Walker

By: Laslo Boyd Wisconsin Governor and 2016 Presidential Candidate Scott Walker has attracted national attention for his highly critical stance towards the University of Wisconsin.   A public institution that has been widely regarded for decades as a national model is being used by Walker as a punching bag to appeal to anti-intellectuals, small government advocates, and the “slash the state budget regardless of the consequences” crowd. The leading edge of his plan is a proposed $300 million cut to the university’s budget.  Even in an era in which the state share of public universities budgets has been declining everywhere, this meat cleaver approach still stands out.   Walker’s hostility and, even more significant, lack of understanding of the importance of higher education was also demonstrated by an initial effort to delete from the University’s mission statement the words “search for truth” and substitute “meeting the state’s workforce needs.” Walker backed away from... Continue reading
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Laslo Boyd: Jamie Raskin's Challenge to "Citizens United"

By: Laslo Boyd This afternoon, the Senate Committee on Education, Health and Environmental Affairs will hold a hearing on SB 153, Corporations-Political Expenditures-Stock Holders.  The lead sponsor, Senator Jamie Raskin of Montgomery County, hopes to stem the torrent of unregulated campaign contributions that was unleashed by the U.S. Supreme Court through their decision “Citizens United v. FEC.” For anyone who cares about the United States remaining a democracy rather than morphing into a plutocracy, this decision ranks as one of the worst in the history of the Supreme Court.  By a 5-4 vote, Court conservatives gutted decades of efforts by Congress to regulate campaign contributions.  In a dazzling twist of logic that would have seemed right at home to Alice in Wonderland, they concluded that, for determining coverage by the 1st Amendment freedom of speech provision, corporations are people and spending money is a protected form of speech.That decision has opened the... Continue reading
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