Thursday, May 31, 2018

An Appropriate Intervention

The County Council will be meeting today to vote on the County budget. Despite the weight of the Ellicott City flooding and its ensuing destruction, council members must address the needs of the entire county and try to make the best decisions for all. I don’t envy them.

One thing that we must address now are the needs of the school system. Council members Calvin Ball and Jen Terrasa have filed an amendment that would stop the proposed increase in class sizes and support HCPSS’s restorative justice program. Amendment 6 to Council Bill 25 would shift 5.1million into the school system’s budget.

I support this. As a teacher and a parent, I know how important class size is. The best way to teach students is to know students. The larger the class, the less possible this becomes. I also support the further funding of Restorative Justice program.

I wrote a letter to the Council last night explaining why I support this amendment. You can, too, but you need to hurry; the meeting starts at eight thirty.

To write all members of the Council at once:
To copy in County Executive Allan Kittleman:

Dear members of the County Council,

During the administration of the former Superintendent of HCPSS I wrote to you on more than one occasion to ask you to step in when things in our schools were going amiss on a number of fronts. I was told that the Council doesn’t interfere.

Our schools are now facing enormous challenges because no one interfered when money was being misappropriated, faculty and staff were being mistreated, no-bid contracts became the rule, mold-contaminated buildings were making people sick, poorly-constructed, wildly expensive programs were rolled out, and the pursuit of the almighty test score took precedence over the mental health and well-being of our students. 

The Council surely heard from many constituents during these years. What a difficult time that was for many of us who care about Howard County’s children, teachers, staff, and families. 

Today you have an opportunity to step in. Today, as you consider the budget, you have before you a clear way to intervene on behalf of our students and their futures. Please vote to approve amendment 6 to Council Bill 25.

It’s your turn. Please don’t let us down.

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