More Classrooms, Expanded Pre-K, and Workforce Training
We need to find new ways to help close the achievement gap between different segments of our community. Expanding pre-K is the best way to do this. We must also press the state for our fair share of school construction money, since that will help us keep up with our booming school population.
We also need to recognize that almost a quarter of our high school graduates do not go on to college. We should offer more vocational training in our high schools that will prepare students to move directly into jobs in the county that have career potential.
The school budget, coupled with that of Montgomery College, represents more than half of the county’s operating budget. I will study the entire school budget – both operating and capital costs — to look for efficiencies that will allow us to maintain our excellent school system so that it will continue to be one of our county’s strongest assets.
School overcrowding is a tough problem that must be addressed proactively. Today, we have more than 160,000 students. Our schools have been growing at a rate of 2,400 students a year, and some of our schools are significantly over capacity.
We need to look at new ways of providing school facilities. We should look at every property owned by the school system to find sites that we don’t have to pay for. We should consider converting vacant office buildings into vocational training centers. Co-locating more schools with parks would enable the athletic facilities to be shared by students and the public.
I’m running for County Executive to bring my experience, creativity and careful financial management to all of Montgomery County. I did that for Rockville residents, and I will do that for the entire community as County Executive.
I hope you will cast your vote for me on June 26.