NICK'S EDUCATION PRIORITIES
As a graduate of the Prince Georges County Public School System: Benjamin Foulois Elementary in Morningside, Eugene Burroughs Middle School in Accokeek, and Largo Senior High School of Upper Marlboro; the grandson of a 27 year retiree of the Prince Georges County Public School System who served as a Teacher’s Assistant and Guidance Counselor; and a parent of a future PGCPS student I will do everything in my power to make sure our students have the best fighting chance possible to succeed. My education priorities are to fight to close the achievement gap our kids face by directing education funding to programs that benefit our children, providing universal pre-k for our kids to get a head start on education, and to be a strong advocate for our teachers to provide the best environment for our children.
Advocate for Teachers
That fighting chance starts with taking care of the schools systems most prized assets; its teachers. In order to maximize our teacher recruiting efforts and retain the great teachers we already have in our county we have to show or current and future teachers the light through and at the end of the tunnel, which is raising salaries and protecting retirement benefits.
Raising Salaries: The light through the tunnel is adequate salaries that match up with our neighboring counties like Montgomery County, to which we lose a lot of our teachers because of opportunities to make sometimes as much as $15K more a year. I will work with other legislators to conduct a study that is needed to determine how teachers across all counties can get additional funding to improve teachers’ salaries through The Geographic Cost of Education Index (GCEI), which adjusts school funding for educational cost differences across Maryland’s jurisdictions.
Protecting Retirement Benefits: The light at the end of the tunnel is adequate retirement income. My grandmother is a 78 year old retiree who dedicated over 27 years of her life to the Prince Georges County School system, who retired from Forestville High School. People like my grandmother count on those retirement benefits to help them maintain a respectable way of life after serving their time to prepare future generations.
State aid for education is very important in the advancement of Prince Georges County Public Schools. I plan to commit to the following:
Funding school renovations in our District to provide high-quality learning environments. Our District is home to many schools that were built in the 60’s and 70’s. Largo, Forestville, and Central are our districts high schools that are in dire need.
Fully fund programs like the The Early College Innovation Fund which provided $2 million in grants to support accelerated pathways for students seeking career and technical education or training in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines in 2013.
Keeping our students up with the times by providing state of the art technologies like electronic books eBooks that not only keep them ahead of times but cuts cost over time and give teachers access to millions of titles that are never out of date
Funding ROTC programs for our High Schools: ROTC teaches our youth teamwork, leadership, and commitment; the tools needed to be productive citizens. By not funding programs like this our kids loose an outlet that has produced many leaders.
Closing the Achievement Gap
Closing the minority achievement gap our students face in Prince Georges County especially in our inner beltway communities is needed. The best way to tackle this issue is through giving our children an opportunity to start learning before they reach kindergarten.
I will support a bill to endorse a mandated Statewide Early Children Education program that prepares our children starting at the age of 3. This will not only help our kids, but the parents who are our neighbors by lowering the financial burdens our neighbors face with childcare cost ranging upwards to $2000 per month.
I also support expanding access to quality, affordable childcare and afterschool programs for working families.