Marc is a product of Montgomery County schools (Beall Elementary School, Julius West Middle School, and Richard Montgomery High School) and a father, so he understands the importance of keeping Montgomery County schools among the best in the nation. Marc’s goal will always be to make certain the schools serve his children and other County children as well as they served him. Montgomery County’s brand is education. It is why many have decided to live here or base businesses here. We must make sure we continue to support and maintain this crown jewel of the County.
Marc has worked to ensure Montgomery County schools will serve our children as well as they served him and past generations, fighting for the funding and support schools need to handle new challenges and keep them among the best in America. Over a quarter of school funding for the County comes from state aid. Marc is fighting for Montgomery County’s share of those funds, and has:
- Supported a new law that mandates so-called “Geographic Cost of Education Index” funding, which provides extra state funds dedicated to high cost areas like Montgomery County;
- Worked on a budget that funds the schools at the level required by state formulas;
- Voted for legislation to reform school testing; and
- Helped to pass legislation that increases school construction funds for Montgomery County by recognized that school districts with a high rate of growth require more funding for school construction.
The County schools as a whole are facing four major demographic shifts:
- More economically disadvantaged children are entering the system, with a third of students (approximately 50,000) receiving subsidized meals.
- The school population is becoming more diverse, with approximately 15% of enrolled students in English as a second language programs.
- More children are being diagnosed with special needs, requiring individualized education plans and other additional support services.
- The entire school system is growing, from an enrollment of 114,000 students ten years ago to almost 150,000 students today and annual growth of 2,000 more students a year expected. In particular, District 16's school capacity constraints are severe as the growth in enrollment far surpasses the ability of our facilities to absorb the student population.
Each of these shifts must be responsibly handled and necessary resources must be provided to populations that need extra help. Along with continued efforts on school construction, Marc is taking on the need to diversify our teacher work force and ensuring early intervention for those with special needs.
Marc knows our education obligations do not begin with elementary school or end with high school graduation.
- Marc is working to support pre-K programs. Maryland currently has a program for economically disadvantaged four-year-olds to access this important service. Pre-K education has a beneficial effect on future educational development and this program needs to be strengthened. Marc has supported legislation to help Maryland obtain federal grants to expand pre-K.
- Marc also recognizes that developing the best workforce in the nation and maintaining our economic prosperity means providing more opportunities for higher education in Maryland. Maryland has capped tuition growth at 2% annually even during tough budget years. But more must be done to facilitate access to higher education and other post-high school programs for individual students who want to attend them. Marc voted for the College Affordability Act which improves the state 529 college savings program and creates a new tax credit for higher education debt.