The current edition of the Maryland State Education Association’s Action Line magazine compares and contrasts the views of the MD gubernatorial candidates Anthony Brown (D) and those of Larry Hogan (R). Unfortunately, serious omissions and distortions occurred when it came time to discuss Hogan’s stance on education. Thanks to an email from newly-elected St. Mary’s County Republican Central
Committee member David Willenborg containing Hogan’s Talking Points, I welcome the opportunity here to present a detailed account of Hogan’s position on important education issues. According to Larry Hogan:
-Maryland has doubled K-12 education spending since 2002; we’re now spending about $6 billion a year and results are mixed at best. The notion that Maryland schools are number one in the country is based on fuzzy math. The disparity between wealthier students and poor ones and white and minority students is terrible;
-Larry is troubled by and will work to close Maryland’s worst-in-the-nation school performance gap between the wealthiest communities and the poorest; this gap has grown under the O’Malley-Brown Administration;
-Maryland taxpayers pay more per student than nearly any other state, yet most of this money is wasted on bureaucrats and never makes it to the classroom. In fact, the jurisdictions in which we spend the most money are often the worst-performing;
-Overall, our children’s education requires more local control by parents and classroom teachers – not organized labor. Larry says that he will work to ensure that our educational funding makes it to the classroom and to actual teachers and not to vast numbers of “educators” in far-removed administration buildings. It’s unconscionable that state leaders put teacher unions ahead of meaningful reform to address the deplorable conditions of many inner city schools;
-Larry supports rewarding teachers and principals with exceptional results and removing those who have failed our children;
-Larry is a strong supporter of school choice and charter schools which have shown exceptional results in other states;
-Common Core: parents and teachers agree that Common Core is a mess. Even the Maryland State Teacher’s Union has called it a “train wreck.” Its roll-out has left students confused, parents out of the loop, and teachers scrambling to learn a new curriculum just hours before having to teach it. Larry Hogan believes we need to hit the “pause” button on Common Core and to give control back to teachers and parents. It really reminds us of the Healthcare fiasco – yet another example of the incompetency of this administration;
-Teacher salaries – Larry is concerned that all too often increases in education budgets go to administrators and bureaucracies rather than into the classroom. The recent roll-out of Common Core in Maryland has not had a lot of positive reaction and teachers have been asked to shoulder much of this burden. Better planning, more local input from teachers and parents, and more time to prepare the curriculum would have relieved much of this workload on teachers;
-Pre-K: Anthony Brown has no plan to fund future Pre-K programs that, under his proposal, cost hundreds of millions of dollars; in fact, the federal government’s Pre-K funding pays 90 percent in the first year to get states hooked and then drops this to 10 percent, leaving states like Maryland with another huge program we simply can’t afford;
-We’ve seen what blindly grasping for federal money has led to with the Health Exchange and Common Core. Larry’s concern is that if we take federal Pre-K dollars, we are going to have to slash funding on other programs and he believes our focus needs to be on improving education for our elementary and high-school aged students first;
-Maintenance of Effort: “Maintenance of Effort” should go because education decisions needs to be at the county level; the current system discourages counties from spending education dollars effectively. For example, one year might see higher than average costs because of a major project; leaving that high level of spending every year thereafter encourages bureaucrats to figure out how to spend extra money without focusing on educating our children.
Thank you, David, for forwarding Larry’s Talking Points; subsequent Ellynne en Pointe columns will feature Hogan’s Talking Points on topics such as: Jobs and the Economy, Health Care, the Rain Tax, Environment and the Bay, Illegal Immigration, as well as additional important issues. Baltimore TV Station WJZ has declared Hogan the winner of the Hogan-Brown debate held earlier this week.
-St. Mary’s County Commissioner President Randy Guy holds a fundraiser on Friday, October 10 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the American Legion Post #221 in Avenue. This Meet and Greet event features a venison chili and venison meatloaf menu accompanied by mashed potatoes, string beans, rolls, tea and water. Tickets are $20.
-The Third Annual MD GOP Oktoberfest will be held on Friday, October 10 from 7 to 11 p.m. at Michael’s Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie. Guest Speakers will be Lt. Gov. Candidate Boyd Rutherford, and Attorney General candidate Jeffrey Pritzker. Tickets are $60 per person and for more information you may contact www.mdgop.org
EVENTS AROUND TOWN
-Southern Maryland Traditional Music and Dance holds a Contra Dance on Saturday, October 11 at Christ Episcopal Church Parish Hall in Chaptico. Doors open at 7 pm.; dancing starts at 7:30 p.m. Beginner’s instruction is held at 7 pm. Admission is $10 for non-SMTMD members; $6 for members (band members are admitted free of charge). An Ice Cream Social will follow the dancing. For more information you may contact www.smtmd.org
-The Folk Salad Trio will perform nautical songs at 3 p.m. for the Patuxent River Appreciation Days to be held at the Calvert Marine Museum’s Corbin Pavilion. The Festival runs for two days – Saturday and Sunday, October 11 and 12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information you may contact www.pradinc.org/schedule.html
-Historic St. Mary’s City announces that reservations for the Madrigal Dinners scheduled for December 5, 6, 7, 12, and 13 will open on October 10. The dinners are held in the State House, with a menu from Expressions of St. Mary’s. Friday and Saturday performances begin at 6 p.m. the Sunday performance begins at 3 p.m. Tickets are $85 and reservations are required. You may contact (240)895-4991, or email@example.com
-Historic St. Mary’s City holds a Haunted Ship event on Saturday, October 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. This is a G-rated Halloween treat of touring a “haunted” ship at the Waterfront. This event is free and for more information you may contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or (240)895-4990.
Elephant Joke of the Week, from 101 Elephant Jokes, by Robert Blake, available on Amazon.com
Q: How do you make an elephant stew to serve 1000 guests?
A: Get a gigantic-sized elephant and cook with potatoes, vegetables, and spices. This is enough to serve 500 people. Throw in two rabbits. Now there’s enough to serve 1000 people!
Important Dates to Remember
-The last day to register to vote in the November 4 General Election is October 14;
-Early Voting runs from October 23 – 30;
-The last day to apply for an Absentee Ballot is October 31.
See you at the Polls!
Contact Ellynne at: LynnieBDavis@gmail.com