Educational matters that affect Harford County come under the control of the Board of Education (Code Education Article, secs. 4-101 through 4-126).

Formerly, the Board consisted of nine members, seven of whom were appointed by the Governor, along with one who served ex officio, and a student member. The Board transitioned to a partially elected Board with the November 2010 election.

As of July 2022, the Board has eleven members. Six (one from each councilmanic district) are elected by the voters to four-year terms (Code Election Law Article, secs. 8-801 through 8-806). Three are appointed by the County Executive with County Council consent to two-year terms. The Superintendent of Schools serves ex officio. Chosen by the Harford County Regional Association of Student Councils, a student member serves a one-year term (Chapters 745 & 746, Acts of 2009; Code Education Article, secs. 3-6A-01 through 3-6A-05). In 2012, the student member was allowed certain voting rights (Chapter 91, Acts of 2012). Prior to July 2022, the three appointments made by the County Executive, were made by the Governor (Chapter 569, Acts of 2022).


The Harford County Public School System is governed by the County Board of Education (Code Education Article, secs. 4-101 through 4-126). In addition, through the review and approval of the annual operating and capital budgets, Harford County government exercises authority over the County Public Schools. Moreover, through the establishment and monitoring of various financial and academic policies and regulations, the State Department of Education also has considerable oversight of county public schools. Indeed, under Maryland law, the State Department of Education works with county public schools to comply with requirements and mandates of federal law.

In Harford County, the Public School System has fifty-five schools: 9 high schools, 9 middle schools, 33 elementary schools, 1 combined school, as well as 2 other schools that offer vocational and special education, and 1 alternative center. In Fiscal Year 2021, some 37,920 students were enrolled in the County's public schools.

The Superintendent of Schools administers the Harford County Public School System, and serves as executive officer, secretary, and treasurer of the Board of Education (Code Education Article, secs. 4-102; 4-201 through 4-206).

With the approval of the State Superintendent of Schools, the Board of Education appoints the Superintendent of Schools to four-year terms.


Located near Bel Air, Harford Community College was founded as Harford Junior College and opened in September 1957. The College offered classes in the basement of Bel Air High School until 1964, when it moved to its present location on Thomas Run Road east of Bel Air. In 1971, it was renamed Harford Community College.


The first free library service in the County started when the Harford County Library Association was founded in 1912. The Harford County Public Library was established in 1946. At that time, Harford became the first county to take advantage of the State Library Law (1945) which authorized matching State funds (based on a county's population) for the establishment of county library stystems.

Opened in 1947, the Public Library is based at Bel Air. Its ten branch libraries include Aberdeen (1947); Abingdon (May 2004); Darlington (1948); Edgewood (Dec. 1963); Fallston (March 1985); Havre de Grace (1960); Jarrettsville (May 2006); Joppa (July 1980); Norrisville (1985); and Whiteford (June 1992).

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