A world class education for every child.
It's not just important -- it's critical to the development and success of our children. That requires world class classrooms, educators, and standards that work for all kids.
I've personally worked in public school classrooms as a para-educator, before working in the trenches of Annapolis for more than a decade -- and no one works harder for our kids.
I've tackled the never-ending grind to learn how to take as many as 200 standardized tests throughout K-12, and I authored and passed the More Learning, Less Testing Act of 2017 (SB452) -- the #2 bill of the National Educational Association (NEA) that now limits testing to 2.2 percent of class time. I authored and passed the Attendance Policy for Pregnant and Parenting Students (SB232), because young women who are pregnant or parenting are penalized for unexcused absences for medical appointments or to care for their children. I also authored a new law that expands tuition waivers for students with permanent and total disabilities, who are enrolled in classes for continuing education instruction designed to lead to employment, including life skills instruction.
When some in Annapolis presented the "doomsday budget" that would have cut hundreds of millions of dollars from classrooms, I stepped up and authored the new law, eventually passed in the 2012 Special Session, that now provides billions of dollars of funding for K-12 education, health care and other programs. When Maryland suffered from year after year of budget cuts because of failed budget projections, I authored groundbreaking legislation that now transforms the Maryland budget, and earmarks critical funds for K-12 school construction.
When some in Annapolis sought to privatize a Montgomery County agency that generates $30 MILLION per year in funding for K-12 and other critical services, I stopped that reckless and misguided legislation.
As Senate Chair of the Spending Affordability Committee (SAC), which sets statewide capital spending limits, I have consistently set the maximum possible school construction funding (far greater then the Capital Debt Affordability Committee recommendations), because portable classrooms and deteriorated buildings are no place for our kids to learn.
And when state legislative leaders tried to dump their responsibility to fund education onto Maryland counties, I stood up to them by sponsoring legislation to fix Maryland's pension system, to protect earned benefits, and to keep the state from eliminating funding for teachers' and employees' pensions. That legislation, the Teacher and Employee Pension Sustainability and Solvency Trust Fund (HB10), sought to replace the failed "corridor funding formula" with real math, and make out-of-state corporations who pay no Maryland taxes, pay their fair share.
Lastly, I have created and funded a unique needs-based scholarship that has granted hundreds of thousands of dollars over the last 12 years to students with extraordinary challenges: the Senator Roger Manno Scholarship for Students with Special Needs and Pervasive Developmental Disorders.
In Congress, I'll continue my fight for a world class education for every child in America.