Updated: May 18
Today, I released a statement calling on the County Council to invest in MCPS:
It’s confirmed: Student learning has suffered during the pandemic, especially among minority, low-income, and special education students. It's a serious equity issue with looming long-term consequences and the potential to get worse.
Additionally, now that we're in person, teachers and staff are glad to be back with kids, but are still being stretched far too thin:
Whole and partial classes going virtual means double lesson planning
Lunch coverage issues, teachers being asked to cover duties during planning time
Unclear guidance on what’s COVID-safe, and what's required for COVID safety
Lack of clarity on what and how to get supplies for outdoor lunch and learning
Lack of equity/consistency in experiences across schools
This is not sustainable for teachers or staff. We will lose them. And that will only increase the scale of educational disaster for our kids, especially those most vulnerable.
In Montgomery County, we pride ourselves on quality public schools.
In Montgomery County, we pride ourselves on quality public schools. With COVID, education is facing a moment, if you will. It’s a moment of huge challenge, but also of opportunity. We can either lag behind, keep up, — or become a leader.
Yes, we need clear, timely, research-based guidance from MCPS and the Board of Education.
We also need significant investment:
To keep learning in-person, we must invest in outdoor infrastructure, increased staffing to support outdoor lunch and learning, professional development for outdoor teaching, indoor air quality, contact tracing.
To address the consequences of the last year and more, we need to fund tutors and other interventions, and on-site health resources including, critically, mental health.
We need to improve the virtual experience with investment in tech, research, staffing, and professional development, even as we try to minimize it.
As federal American Rescue Plan and state Blueprint/Kirwan money arrive, the County Council must support schools with local funds as well, not use the influx of needed additional funding to replace County funding.
This is the time to invest significantly in a future that is here, now.
This is the time to invest significantly in a future that is here, now. We must be at the forefront for our kids, not playing catch-up.