Dallas Dance is leaving his position as head of Baltimore County Public Schools.
Dance announced his resignation today. He’ll be done with his job effective June 30, 2017. In a statement, the superintendent of five years reflected generally on the issues he and his colleagues have tackled during his tenure, while not offering a clear reason for his resignation.
“The last five years serving as Superintendent of Team BCPS have been the best years of my professional life,” Dance said in a statement. “As I stated in my latest State of the Schools message, I have led this organization from my heart believing that we could move mountains, and while not literally, we have begun tackling some large complex issues, which will take us time, effort, energy, and commitment to realize its full impact. However, I believe our county and region will be better because of our strategic efforts to provide an equitable educational experience for all of our children.”
Dance is in the first year of a four-year contract extension granted by the Baltimore County school board last spring. He receives a $287,800 salary, along with an $18,200 annual pension, a publicly financed car and other perks.
School board president Edward Gilliss also hasn’t returned a request for comment on the board of education’s options for replacing Dance this summer. The superintendent term starts each year on July 1.
Dance barely hinted at his next move in his statement, saying, “I now transition to another chapter of my career where I will specifically use my passion for equity and access to a quality education to ensure it is provided to all students through school, district, and community leadership.”
He said he believes the school system “is certainly on the right track under the leadership of a phenomenal group of chiefs, top-notch school leaders, dedicated and caring teachers, and thousands of committed support staff all throughout our organization. I truly believe BCPS is in a better place today than when I first arrived.”
In his time as superintendent, Dance has won numerous awards and led successful initiatives to develop digital classroom interfaces for students and teachers and expand foreign language education to the elementary school grades. According to his BCPS bio, the school system’s high school graduation rate has increased by 5.4 percent since he took the helm in 2012.
He’s also weathered controversy, including complaints about a lack of air conditioners in schools during the hotter early days of the school year and calls for his resignation after he retweeted a message telling educators to support minority students following President Donald Trump’s election in November.
A spokesman for Baltimore County Public Schools hasn’t returned a message requesting comment on whether Dance is leaving for another job or has one lined up.