The Importance of Education

Education is a fundamental responsibility of county government, and every child deserves a great education.

As a trained educator and parent, I understand the importance of a great education. My own education opened many doors in my life and helped me become successful in business and life.

As County Executive, I have made education a major priority of my work.

School Size:

Anne Arundel County Schools are among the largest average size in the United States. The average high school in our County has about 1,850 students as compared to the national average of about 750. Large schools promote student anonymity, are not neighborhood-based because they draw from very large geographic areas, and have limited extra-curricular opportunities for students.

West County parents and students desire to have their children attend local schools as opposed to taking lengthy bus trips to other parts of the county. I will work closely with the Board of Education to develop a new model of school construction that emphasizes smaller neighborhood schools.

School Construction:

Anne Arundel County’s current approach to school construction is too expensive. A new high school in our county costs about $125 million, or $425 per square foot, which is about 25 percent more per square foot than in nearby Howard County. This expensive approach has effectively put a block on new-school construction in Anne Arundel County.

We have not built a new high school in our county since 1982. I will work with the Board of Education to develop new, lower-cost models of school construction and methods of financing.

Educational Alternatives and Public School Programming:

I believe our system of free and appropriate public education is one of the great achievements of American society. However, every child is different, and the needs of every child cannot be met in the traditional public school system.

Therefore, our County must offer the full range of educational alternatives, including charter schools, parochial schools, independent schools and home-schooling. Within our public schools, I will work hard to advance our high-level, employer-connected programs, including signature and Advanced Placement (AP) programs.

Governance:

Anne Arundel County is one of the few jurisdictions in the United States with an appointed school board. Our current board is comprised of capable and dedicated individuals, but the school system should be accountable to parents and taxpayers, not to the Governor of Maryland. I will fight for an elected school board.