Strengthen and continue to bring academic specialty and vocational programs
Our school system has some phenomenal academic specialty and career-centered vocational programs. It is important, however, that there is equity in terms of program placement across the county. I plan to advocate for International Baccalaureate, PTech, law, language immersion, Talented and Gifted, Advanced Placement, Middle College, Fine Arts, and other specialty programs to come and sustain equitably in our district. Additionally, vocational programs are important to give a balanced approach to career readiness and skill-based learning.
Equitable Access To Technology
Technology access is not equitable in the county. Certain schools have greater access to Chromebooks and other technologically-centered instructional environments while other schools have to share equipment in ineffective ways. Equitable access to technology is a necessity in today’s world and in a $2 Billion budget, there is no excuse as to why technology access is not a priority.
Prince George’s County educators are several steps below where they should be on the designated salary scale. Currently, I am paid at a level 3 steps below where I should be paid. Every step is equivalent to 3%. This disparity is especially discouraging when I know that I could make a significantly higher salary in a neighboring jurisdiction like D.C., Montgomery County, Howard County, or Virginia. As a current classroom teacher, I have a stronger incentive to ensure that my colleagues are paid the wages they deserve. Ensuring appropriate pay is a cornerstone of employees feeling valued and that they are treated as professionals by their Government.
Fully Staffing Schools
Every school in our county is understaffed. This is the case not only for schools that are underutilized but schools that are at max capacity/ overcrowded. Students are not only in environments that are less safe but do not receive the instructional supports that they would if enough educators are present. As a school system, we need to ensure that our schools are fully staffed with enough general educators, special educators, math/reading specialists, and other instructional personnel including non-instructional personnel like parent liaisons and behavior management focused employees.
Reduce overcrowding and balance school enrollment
My goal is for all families to have confidence that their student could receive the highest quality education in every school across the district. When families do not feel that way, you start to have overcrowding at one school leaving some others under-utilized. The vision that I have is to look very closely at school boundaries to ensure that students attend institutions that are in proximity to the communities that they live in without sacrificing the quality of academic programming and leadership they expect. The foundation of this approach is that equity, as it relates to programming, technology, staffing, and pay, is ensured.
Prioritizing school renovation and improving maintenance budget
Every school in the district should have the facilities to deliver the highest quality education to students. These include clean facilities that have adequate heating, cooling, pest control, mold control, lead testing, deterioration, etc. Ensuring building maintenance is not just for cosmetic purposes. It is too necessary to ensure complete safety for our students and should be made a priority. All schools must have necessary maintenance and restoration across the board.