Excellence in Education
I am committed to preserving, strengthening and advocating for the highest quality K-12 education at MCPS now and forever. MCPS is the bedrock upon which our community is founded, it is our greatest asset and crown jewel. My vision of public education is a system that effectively shapes thoughtful, active citizens who are capable of holding our government, the media, and society accountable. Education is an investment in future generations of Marylanders; it is an investment in a set of skills that can never be outsourced.
Investment in the liberal arts is necessary to facilitate the sort of self-expression and creative, critical thinking that Thomas Jefferson envisioned would define active citizenship in America; indeed, this was this principle upon which the United States first introduced public education to the world in the early 19th century.
We have done the hard work of investing in education; Now, our economy can be made stronger by incentivizing Millenials to return to the place where they were educated so that their children benefit from the same opportunities.
Legislative Action Items:
- Develop action plans to reduce disparities in education (the achievement gap) that include support for Head Start early childhood education programs, Free And Reduced Meals (FARMs) breakfasts and lunches during the school year and holidays, and maintained funding for resource teachers (English as a Second Language, special education).
- Support universal pre-Kindergarten classes to reduce the achievement gap and facilitate employment among parents of young children.
- Work within the Montgomery County Delegation to bring more school construction funds from the State back to Montgomery County to reduce MCPS' dependence on portables to educate our students.
- Incorporate foreign language requirements and immersion programs into elementary school curricula in order to prepare the next generation of our workforce to compete in an increasingly globalized economy.
- Investigate the feasibility of developing a foreign exchange program for our high school students with their counterparts in other OECD (developed and industrialized) nations.
- Recognize the effort and value that are brought to our school systems by MCPS support staff, from those individuals who drive our children's school buses to those who protect, clean, and serve food to our students.
- Expand funding for arts and music programs in elementary schools. The Integrated Arts program is an exceptional method of using the arts to accentuate learning objectives in all subject matter categories. With an education system designed to create thoughtful, active citizens who can hold our government, media, and society in check, we need to promote the arts as a means of self-expression and creative, critical thinking. This shift in priorities can best be articulated in the shift from STEM funding (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) to STEAM funding (with the addition of Arts to our priorities).
Investigate the feasibility of creating a voluntary public service
corps (VPSC) in which all graduates of Maryland high schools, between
the ages of 22 and 26, would be eligible for 18 months of internships
with State contractors on infrastructure projects. This VPSC would act
as an umbrella organization for current programs such as Teach for
America, Americorps, and various internship programs throughout the
state that offer excellent, but insufficient opportunities to meet the
needs of our youth. Participants will be offered access to affordable
housing, will provide a low-cost option for investing in state
infrastructure improvements, will build upon the public-private
partnerships that already exist, will offer the next generation an
opportunity to invest in their own future and build solidarity across
society writ large, gain valuable professional experience, and learn
from their diverse peers within a common experience. Opportunities will
be made available through requirements that are tied to state contracts
that stipulate that for every X number of dollars of a contract, Y
number of interns need to be taken on by the contracting entity.
Incorporate a student-loan forgiveness option into this workforce