Montgomery County [Maryland] Board of EducationPublic Comment Testimony of Parent Tom HearnJune 24, 2013
Good evening. Tonight, the Board of Education for Montgomery County [Maryland]Public Schools will consider Supt. Joshua Starr’s recommendation to authorize spending$99,140 in 5 contract for ImPACT baseline concussion testing of 16,000 MCPS studentswho play sports at MCPS’s 25 high schools.Actually, the contracts appear to be for $59,680 for such testing, with the remaining$39,460 going to provide limited athletic trainer services at 12 MCPS high schools as a pilot for more athletic trainer services in future years.
I respectfully request that the Board reject these contracts and request that staff revisethem for the vendors to use the $99,140 to fund athletic trainers for the 2:00 pm-to 6:00 pm window at 5 high schools. Budget savings should be sought to fund similar athletictrainer services at the remaining 20 high schools.
ImPACT Baseline Not NecessaryBOE Member Pat O’Neill had been a steady advocate for systemwide ImPACT baselineconcussion testing and I applaud her for her commitment to student safety to studentsafety that this advocacy reflects. Ms. O’Neill has based her advocacy on her experienceseveral years ago as a parent at Walt Whitman High School where she says the schools boosters club began funding ImPACT baselines on the advice of a parent pediatrician.Recent developments, however, indicate that ImPACT baseline testing is no longer considered necessary. In November 2012, the leading worldwide group of physiciansand neuropsychologists who treat sports concussions met in Zurich, Switzerland, and inthe consensus statement they issued in March 2013 stated:
At present time, there is insufficient evident to recommend thewidespread routine use of baseline neurological testing.