A Montgomery County business owner who unsuccessfully ran for the Maryland House of Delegates will fill a state Board of Education seat vacated by S. James Gates Jr., a highly respected physicist and professor who resigned to protest an order by Gov. Larry Hogan (R) to start schools after Labor Day.
Rose M. Li, a Republican who lives in Bethesda, became an acting member of the 12-member board Nov. 1, a spokeswoman for the governor’s office confirmed Thursday. The permanent appointment must be approved by the state Senate during the 2017 legislative session.
The board has grappled with how to deal with the Hogan’s executive order on the school calendar. Gates, who resigned last week, said the order impinged on the authority of the state board, which is supposed to be independent.
Li is president of Rose Li and Associates Inc., which provides project management support. She ran for the House of Delegates in the three-member 16th legislative district, which includes Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Glen Echo, Potomac, and Rockville. Li took 13 percent of the vote, finishing fourth.
“Over the course of her long and diverse career, Ms. Li has proven that she has the right combination of experience, knowledge, and dedication to guide and improve education policy in our state. The governor is very confident that she will be a strong and loyal advocate for the students of Maryland,” Shareese N. Churchill, Hogan’s spokeswoman, said in a statement.
News of Li’s appointment first became public Thursday after she updated her resume on LinkedIn and her biography on her company website.
S. James Gates, the previous vice president of the state board and a mathematics professor at the University of Maryland, announced he was resigning from the board recently and in a letter to Hogan said the governor’s executive order “has the remarkable potential to damage both the most at risk and the most ambitious students in Maryland.”
In August, Governor Larry Hogan signed an executive order mandating that all public schools start classes after Labor Day and end classes by June 15. Earlier last month, Hogan amended the order, narrowing the conditions under which most school districts could get a waiver that would exempt them from his mandate.
“Ultimately, state board members are free to their own opinions — misguided as they are — but that won’t stop Governor Hogan from doing what is clearly right and what the vast majority of Marylanders want to see done,” spokesman for Governor Hogan said.
Li is president of Rose Li and Associates Inc
S. James Gates, the vice president of the state board and a mathematics professor at the University of Maryland ought to have resigned a long time ago with Dr. Lilian Lowery for engaging in misconduct. Mr. Gates has no principled stand and has made questionable decisions driven by what appears to be personal self interest instead of helping the children of Maryland. It’s good riddance for sure!