As a high school teacher I understand the importance of Education. This is an issue that touches me personally. Education impacts all of our lives weather we have school aged children or not.
My first concern surrounds the implementation of Common Core. The state of Maryland should either consider opting out of this program or slowing down its implementation. Maryland has one of the best schools systems in the country. Our curriculum works for our children. We need to make sure that these new standards are equal to or higher than our current standards. While there may be an advantage to ensuring that all students nationwide meet some level of basic standards, Maryland should not lower its educational standards; rather, other areas of the country that are falling short should increase their standards.
My next concern has to do with the underfunding of our schools. I believe that “Maintenance of Effort” needs to be altered or replaced with a law that actually requires the full funding of our schools. Both Frederick and Carroll counties have been underfunding their school systems for the past several years, and this is starting to have a serious negative effect.
Underfunding our schools creates large class sizes, makes teachers wages uncompetitive with surrounding counties, and seriously penalizes our hardworking teachers. Underfunding means that crumbling school buildings fail to receive the attention they need, putting our children and the adults who work in them in danger. Underfunding also puts our children at a disadvantage in the global economy, because our schools are unable to maintain and upgrade their technology.
Good schools give our children the ability to excel in the future, which gives future generations the opportunity to succeed in the economy as past generations have. It reduces crime and improves the quality of life for all of us. Good schools help increase our property values. Parents of school-age children prefer to move to regions that have good schools and they’re willing to pay top dollar for homes in those areas.
I fear that we are not doing right by our kids, and we need to fix that. I am deeply concerned that we are shortchanging out most precious resource, our children. I am concerned that our children will not have the opportunity to do better than our generation. Remember, many of the opportunities that made it possible for our generation to achieve better lives were put in place by our parents. They truly were the Greatest Generation.
My biggest concern is that when our efforts are measured against those of our parents, we will have failed. We are strapping our young generations with far too much debt. How can we expect the next generation to build productive lives and raise their families if they graduate from college saddled with debts that will take decades to pay?
The way we have been doing a lot of things in recent years is no longer working. We have identified ourselves as coming from “red states” or “blue states,” then we argue about dumb things, ignoring that we agree on almost everything, while our communities – including our school systems – deteriorate around us due to our own shameful neglect. We need to stop doing this, before it is too late. We need to turn off the cable news and start talking with each other about how we can make things better in our communities.
As your delegate from District Four, I guarantee you that I will fight fervently for our school children every day. Maryland is currently the number one state school system in the United States. We need to keep it that way! It is all a matter of setting the proper priorities and being willing to invest in the future.
My entire campaign is about bringing common sense and cooperation back into public life. I ask that you join me in this effort. Thank you and if you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow me on twitter @genestanton and on Facebook at genestanton.35. Please like me on Facebook at Stanton for Delegate.
Gene Stanton is a Democratic Candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates - District 4. Email: email@example.com