County Council Chairman Calvin Ball is proposing legislation that would authorize the county government to investigate problems related to mold in county public schools.

The resolution, which Ball said will be introduced March 7, would give the county's Environmental Sustainability Board the task of reviewing mold reports on buildings commissioned by the Howard County public school system and make recommendations to the council and county executive.

In a statement Ball, a Democrat, said the resolution is intended to “offer a helping hand.”

Over the past year, the school system has been criticized by many parents — and some elected officials — for the way it has handled the discovery of mold at Glenwood Middle School and other county schools, and the way information was relayed.

Some teachers and parents have pointed to health problems that they believe are related to mold, and concern over the issue has been expressed at various public meetings, as well as on a Facebook page created by parents to discuss the mold problem.

At a meeting in December hosted by local legislators, several parents expressed frustration over what they described as a lack of transparency and oversight.

School Superintendent Renee Foose has maintained that she did not immediately tell parents about mold problems because the central office does not regularly notify parents about maintenance issues. She has also said the the problem at Glenwood Middle was resolved by installing a new $3 million ventilation and air-conditioning system last summer.

The school system has an Indoor Environmental Quality Advisory Committee, which includes parents, community members and county government employees.

If Ball's resolution passes, the Environmental Sustainability Board would evaluate that committee's systemwide plan and all indoor environmental air studies created by the schools. The board also would submit a report by the end of September assessing the validity of the committee's report and providing recommendations for mold remediation, the release states.

Ned Tillman, chair of the Environmental Sustainability Board, said the resolution would allow the county to conduct an “independent review of the progress in assessing, remediating and preventing mold in Howard County public school buildings.”

“We recognize this as an important issue and look forward to working with [the school system] in keeping our kids and staff safe and healthy,” he said in a statement.