Priorities

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Equity in Education

All students are created equal, but not all student's circumstances are the same. Equity must be a driving factor in Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS). For PGCPS students to flourish, we must all engage as a community in promoting equity. We must remain sensitive to the needs of each student to help bridge the opportunity gap. My strategy to build equity and equality throughout PGCPS is:

  • Hold more cultural competency training for teachers & staff, as well as  for vendors and contractors who work with PGCPS. Our county has students from different economic backgrounds, religious belief systems and ethnicities, and is home to the highest number of ESL students in Maryland.

  • This training will help education professionals to better understand the nuances of dealing with children from various backgrounds. Offer more wrap-around services   to support PGCPS students before, during, and after school. 

  • Recruit teachers who represent the student population's diversity (not limited to race but also socioeconomic, first-generation graduates, etc.).

  • Over 60% of our students qualify for free or reduced lunch. We need to build partnerships and expand our resources that can make it accessible for all students i.e. free. 

  • Lastly, we need to recruit more mental health professionals to help assess and care for our  students, administrators, and teachers. We need greater access to healthcare professionals in schools, and reliable resources for parents. (Quarantine has impacted everyone, and we need professionals to help schools better understand and develop solutions for the cognitive dynamic.)

 

Village Approach

Schools are more than just brick and mortar institutions; they are a microcosm of our county; one can't disentangle the school system from the overall state of the community. Therefore, it's imperative to develop our school system to reflect the affluence of Prince George's County. Our schools should be incubators that help sustain and further Prince George’s County position. However, the school system can't do this alone. We will work to build new connections and strengthen existing ones. We need a village approach to education. How do we accomplish this? 

 

  • Experiential opportunities for all students: Prince George's County and its surrounding areas are rich with opportunities for pre-K-12 students. We have government agencies, tech, research institutions, small businesses, and more. We need to work with these institutions and develop partnerships to give our students world-class experiences and hands-on learning. We need county-wide support for field trips, after-school activities, and a summer enrichment program for experiential learning opportunities within our resource-rich community.

  • The educational process is a team dynamic, which requires that teachers and parents share the responsibility of student achievement. To this end, teachers and families must regularly communicate, engage, and collaborate. I am committed to finding resources to develop this vital partnership further.

  • Government legislators should find ways to incentivize tax breaks to businesses that allow parents to attend children's school activities with paid leave.

Teacher Support 

Having the right teacher can change the trajectory of a student’s life. They mold the future leaders of tomorrow. We already demand so much of our teachers, so we must give them the tools they need to succeed.  

  •  Let’s work to address capacity issues by finding more resources for teachers, i.e., TAs (Teachers Assistants), better technology, etc. 

  • Let’s work to help develop a more competitive compensation package. 

  • Let’s work to further enhance the talent pipeline between PGCPS and local universities. We can develop an exchange of students and teachers “to and from” local schools and local universities. This will be a mutually beneficial relationship that helps elevate the social dynamics and continuity of both institutions. 

 

Solutions for the Technological Divide 

Covid-19 brought the world to its knees, and had an outsized impact on communities of color. One of the issues that came to surface during the pandemic was the technological divide. Students of color fell behind, because they didn't have access to some of the same technology. Having the resources to work/school from home was an easy adjustment for some, but it was nearly impossible for others. We had parents and kids scrambling to find serviceable computers, internet access, and ways to overcome the computer skills knowledge gap in our county. 

 If elected to the school board, I will:

  • Work to provide more computer skills training for students and parents. We will work with nonprofits and other organizations to assist with mitigating the digital and technology skills gap. 

  • Work with legislators to evaluate intelligent cities and connected communities' strategies. There are billions of dollars out there in federal grants and assistance programs to upgrade outdated infrastructure and give communities access to broadband services. We will work together as a community to identify and utilize these opportunities.