Sadly, much misinformation about Cecil County Public Schools (CCPS) is surfacing from various elected officials and the so-called “conservative slate” of Board of Education (BOE) candidates who want to “Save Our Children.” Yes, these candidates are technically “Cecil County parents,” (as listed on an inaccurate and deceiving mailer), but none actually have current CCPS students (and two never have). Perhaps their false statements and identification of supposed problems result from being so far removed from the realities of what is truly happening in our schools. However, since their campaigns are primarily funded by political committees, candidates, and other political leaders (who are also fairly removed from the realities of CCPS), it seems like a desperate and discouraging attempt to take over all levels of government—and it does NOT belong in education. It would be disastrous.
Along these lines, a letter from my opponent was published in last week’s Whig. Just to be clear, here are some facts:
CCPS is not a business; it is a government agency mandated to serve ALL students. Board members are required to follow all laws and develop policies within the parameters/regulations adopted by the State Board of Education. Failure to do so (as some have indicated they will do) can result in removal of Board members and/or the withholding of State funding.
All “Apple Ballot” candidates were chosen by Cecil County educators (with all teachers invited to participate) using an extensive process that’s been in place for over 25 years. Their recommendations are based on education issues affecting students and the community including funding, policies, and resources–regardless of any political affiliation. Anyone pushing misinformation about this ballot or process may not understand how schools and CCPS actually function. Our teachers did their homework; trust them.
BOE members serve in trust for the WHOLE community and are non-partisan, meaning free from party affiliation or bias; we must represent the entire county–not individual groups. My opponent and others on the “conservative slate” have already proven they can’t follow this. They are running as “conservatives;” have received most of their funding from political entities (including County Executive Hornberger and Councilwoman Gregory); have participated in political “Red Wave Rallies;” and give me no reason to believe, if elected, that they would serve ALL students without a political lens or partiality. Our students are NOT political pawns, and it’s disappointing to see our local “leaders” and their recruits treating them as such.
Board members work to provide a quality and uniform public school system for all county children, and the duties go far beyond a few hot button issues. (Note: Board members have NO taxing authority.)
Working in collaboration with fellow Board members, staff, community partners, and various stakeholders doesn’t mean that everyone has the same mindset. Asking difficult questions; listening to all viewpoints; analyzing all perspectives; and compromising to tackle challenges and develop balanced unified solutions results in progress. This is how we operate.
Public education is clearly under attack. Reading destructive rhetoric by local politicians and inexperienced “conservative slate” candidates is not only frustrating, it is scary. Providing quality public education is already challenging enough; its importance can’t be taken lightly–and it certainly shouldn’t be infiltrated by deceitful leaders who incite anger and fear to try to push their personal, political, and divisive values.
We need BOE members who are equipped to lead effectively and lawfully. We do NOT need those who make unattainable promises, are misinformed, lack understanding of the role, are politically biased, and are primarily funded by extreme politicians. I question their motives, and as a current CCPS parent, I certainly do not need them to encroach on parent choices by forcing their beliefs to “save” MY child.
I will always remain focused on students, transparency, and implementing fair, balanced solutions. I’ll continue to respect differences, consider all perspectives, and analyze information when making decisions. I will always serve with objectivity, integrity, and work tirelessly to foster a learning environment to help all students–who come to us with diverse needs and experiences–develop and achieve success.
Please educate yourself. Watch the candidates’ forums (Cecil.tv), learn the facts, consider the Apple Ballot, and please be an informed voter when hitting the polls.
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