Baltimore County can rightly be proud of our public schools which are routinely rated as some of the best in the nation, attracting new residents to our county at a rate of approximately 1,000 new students a year. And yet, despite this growth, spending on public schools in Maryland has been flat since 2008.
As both a parent and as a long-time educator, Colleen knows what years of underfunding means for our schools and our children. Teachers in Maryland receive just 84 cents for every dollar earned by other professionals with four-year college degrees, with their annual salaries falling 13 percent below the median household income. Across the county, schools lack adequate numbers of counselors, social workers, psychologists and other key support staff. Our students are forced to learn in overcrowded classrooms in crumbling buildings.
Families in Baltimore County deserve better.
As Councilwoman, Colleen will advocate for teacher- and support-staff salaries that are comparable to other workers with the same education and reflective of the cost of living in the county, so that we can recruit and retain the best teachers. She will support the real solutions proposed by the Kirwan Commission, including more professional development opportunities for teachers and staff; expanded free or low-cost pre-kindergarten; more support for at-risk children; and more vocational training and dual high school-community college degrees. And she will work to develop a ten-year plan, based on independent analyses, to fund necessary infrastructure repairs to our schools as well as construction of new school buildings–without pitting any one school against another.