Educational Issues

Jeff Speaks Out on Education

I am a strong supporter of the public school system in our state, having regularly served on the PTA organizations in my children’s schools. 

I, myself, am a  public school system graduate who believes that the education of our citizens is a basic right of citizenship to which each Maryland family should be entitled.  I was raised in a education-oriented family since my mother served as an elementary school teacher in public schools for over 30 years.  And I also served on the Board of Education in Anne Arundel County, in the mid-70s, as the first student member elected by his peers on a school board in the State of Maryland.

School funding

School Funding is an essential—and growing—element of our State budget each year. This is critically important since the performance of our schools directly impacts job growth throughout our state.  Public schools in Maryland have had a long and distinguished record of producing successful leaders in fields such as business & industry, professional services, education, government and more. 

Unfortunately our legislators have become more focused over this past decade on the amounts of money that we can spend on schools rather than how well our kids actually perform there.  Funding levels for K-to-12 Education in our state has almost doubled over the past 8 years. Mary­land is now ranked very near the top in the nation in our level of expenditures-per-pupil. 

Test Scores

But our scores on comparative national tests have only been average.  We must find ways to establish better accounta­bility for the money that we spend in our classrooms, all the while ensuring that the abilities of our graduating seniors actually meet the demands of the workforce that they will enter.

Education Successes Commission

If I am elected to the House of Delegates, I will call for the formation of an Education Successes Commission.  This commission will be created for three purposes that focus on Maryland’s expanded education funding programs (the implementation of the Thornton Commission recommend­a­tions):  1) Highlighting the educational successes of the past decade; 2) Reviewing any disappointments of the programs funded and 3) Underscoring any inherent limitations of these funding models and educational programs.  The Commission team will evaluate those options that have already been implemented and compare them against alternatives that are still available.  The final intent for this commission will be to improve the overall performance of Maryland’s school systems.

Federal Funding Sources

I believe that Maryland schools should be controlled by Marylanders.  Unfortunately, much of our school funding is currently derived from money that has been provided by our Federal government in Washington--and at a substantial cost.  Those funds almost always carry Federal strings and increase the underlying bureaucratic costs of running the school system.

Because of these ever-growing "complications," I urge that we reduce or minimize the acceptance of funding from Federal programs, wherever possible. 

Other Actions

Our state should also investigate and consider whether other options might be used to encourage success in our schools, including such alternatives as: 

  1. Incorporating national testing standards into our methods when evaluating the accomplishments of our school systems
  2. Pay differentials for teachers that create incentives for them to excel in the classroom
  3. Waivers in certification requirements for specialty teaching positions that may be hard to fill
  4. Where justified, stronger state-mandated operating controls on educational budget expenditures
  5. Wider implementation of charter schools
  6. Possible implementation of tuition vouchers for districts with substantial at-risk student populations 

Vote Jeff Robinson for District 13 House of Delegates

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