STRENGTHENING PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Every child deserves to have access to a high-quality public education. Strong schools are the foundation for strong and growing communities, and this work takes all of us, both at the state and local level. In 2019, the General Assembly will rewrite the State’s education funding formula for the next decade. It’s our chance to get it right, and as you’re Senator, I’m committed to providing every community the funding and resources that they need.
- I believe in investing in high-quality, universal pre-kindergarten because it benefits all children, helps to close the achievement gap, supports working families, and starts children on the path to success in school and in life. We’ve all heard the saying that it’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. The same is true in our school system – a strong educational system in Maryland is built from the ground up. That starts with ensuring that every child has access to universal pre-k, because we know that the most crucial time for a child to begin learning is early in their lives.
- Every parent knows the value a top-notch educator in the classroom can bring to their child. I will to fight to ensure that every classroom in Maryland is led by a well-trained, fairly-compensated educator who is empowered to put his or her students first. That means fighting for things like improved teacher pay and benefits, as well as incentives and support for teachers to continuously improve their professional practice and improve student performance. To attract and retain the best and brightest teachers, we must offer competitive compensation that is, ideally, comparable to other high-status professionals and provide them with opportunities to continue to refine their practice and grow as leaders.
- We must prepare every student for success in the 21st century economy and expand opportunities in career and technical education, such as coding, dual language certification, training in the marine industry, and pipelines to real apprenticeships that lead to family-sustaining careers with good salaries and benefits.
- We live in one of the wealthiest counties in one of the wealthiest states in one of the wealthiest nations in the world, but not every community has access to equitable resources. All of our children deserve to learn in environments that facilitate and promote learning, and out-of-date, over-crowded, and temporary portable classrooms are not the answer. We need to ensure that every child has access to school facilities that are safe, conducive to learning, and designed for 21st century learning.
- In order to ensure that every child in our schools is engaged, challenged, healthy, safe, and supported, we must provide more connections and wrap-around services for students and their families. We must teach the whole child. If students’ most basic needs are not taken care of, they will not be able to learn in school. We will promote and support creative school and community partnerships to find solutions to the struggles that students and families face and continue to develop schools as anchors for their communities. This may include more having more social workers and other mental health providers at school, mobile health clinics and dentist offices, and different ways of leveraging community resources to help students achieve.