Issues
 
Real Estate
Development
  • Sensible Growth
  • Eminent Domain
Transportation
  • Mass Transit Options
  • The Mid-County Highway Extension
  • Longdraft Road
People & Working
Families
  • Health Care
  • Slot Machine Gambling
  • Affordable Housing
  • ...
Education
  • Reducing Class Sizes & School Overcrowding
  • Teachers' Pensions Reform
  • Capital Improvement Projects Budget Schedule
Open, Honest,
Accountable Government
  • My No-PAC, No-Corp Pledge
  • Voter-Verified Paper Receipts
  • Publicly Financed Election Campaigns
  • ...
Civil Rights, Civil Liberties
and Information Privacy
  • Consumer Privacy Protections
  • Immigration Law Enforcement
  • Racial Profiling
  • ...
Crime
  • Assault Weapons Ban
  • Youth/Gang Violence
Local Issues
  • Montgomery Village Golf Course
  • Development at the Webb Tract
  • Education

    • Reducing Class Sizes and School Overcrowding
      This year 17,000 of Montgomery County's 140,000 students are attending classes in 690 portables. Such portable classrooms lack restroom facilities so students must walk (outdoors) to another building just to use the restrooms. Some of these classrooms contain mold which can be harmful to the health of our children.

      This is unacceptable. Our children should not have to risk their health in school. They deserve adequate facilities such as running water. They should not have to walk outside through snow and rain to use a restroom. These are distractions from the learning experience.

      I believe that our schools will remain overcrowded and our children will remain in portable classrooms until our real-estate development policies are adjusted. Currently our school system is being overwhelmed by the unplanned development.

      To see a Gazette article about this subject, click here.

    • Teachers' Pensions Reform
      Maryland teachers are woefully undercompensated in their retirement. In fact, Maryland ranks 48th among the 50 states in the level of compensation it affords retired teachers.

      Under the current system (instituted in 1980 and tweaked in 1998), a teacher who has devoted 30 years to educating Maryland children receives only about 38 percent of his or her final salary in retirement. Across the United States the median pension for teachers with 30 years of service is 57 percent.

      In Montgomery County in particular, where the cost of living a extremely high, this paltry pension means that many retired teachers can not continue to live in the communities they served throughout their careers. It also cripples the State's ability to attract and retain the very best career teachers.

      In January 2006 I petitioned Maryland legislators to raise our teachers' pensions to at least the national median rate. I favor Maryland devoting some of its surplus to doing it. It is a step that is long overdue. And it is hardly giving teachers a "free ride," as many claim. In order to receive higher pension benefits, teachers must be willing to increase their own contributions to the pension plan up from the current level of 2 percent of their annual salary.

      To see a Gazette article about this subject, click here.

      To see a copy of the petition I presented to legislators on January 30, 2006 in support of Montgomery County's Teachers, click here.

    • Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) Budget Schedule
      The past has clearly shown that delaying capital improvement projects -- projects to build and improve school facilities -- has damaging effects on our educational system, effects from which it is difficult to recover. During such delays, construction costs continue to rise, making projects more expensive when they resume. Maintenance costs rise as systems continue to deteriorate. "Quick-fix patches" designed to keep systems and facilities functioning until modernization work resumes only add to the bottom line.

      I applaud Montgomery County Executive Duncan's recent budget, which fully funds MCPS's Capital Improvement Program needs. It is a necessary step for maintaining the quality of our educational facilities, which has a direct bearing on the quality of the education our children receive.




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