As a product of public schools and a parent in the public school system, I am a firm believer in public schools. Not only are they a place for children to be educated and to grow, but they are the center of a community.
District 16 has wonderful schools. But we also have our challenges. MCPS is the largest school system in Maryland - the 14th largest in the country - and we are growing by 2,500 students a year. We have a shortage of teachers, and our teachers are underpaid. MCPS has a large number of FARMS (31.5%) and ESOL (14.2%) students, as well as 11.7% of our students receiving special education services.
I have spent years fighting for our school system. I fought against vouchers and for full funding of our schools; against the school-to-prison pipeline and for students' First Amendment rights. As your Delegate, I will continue to champion our public schools and our students.
* Continue to fight for full funding of our public schools, both capital and operating dollars. At the same time, we must stop sending public dollars to private and religious schools.
* Ensure that our number of ESOL, FARMS and children with special needs are accounted for in the funding formula and supported.
* Ensure that our teachers receive the support and respect they deserve.
* Work with county officials to identify and activate new school sites for our burgeoning system.
* Support pre-K programs.