​​The Government and Political Affairs Committee of the Frederick Branch recently prepared a list of questions for the candidates running for the Board of Education and the County Council. Willie J. Mahone, President of the the Frederick County Branch of the NAACP, recognizes the important role every voter plays in the election process. "It's important for all of us to understand the impact we can have on local politics if we exercise our right to vote. While we do not endorse one candidate over another, we feel that it's important voters are aware of key issues in this upcoming election that may influence their choices." 

We are calling for the establishment of a Suspension Review Panel that would review a proposed long-term out-of-school suspension of ethnic minority students, and make an advisory recommendation. The panel would include community members who are not employees of the Frederick County Public Schools, and may also include school staff and employees. The panel would necessarily consider alternatives to suspension and other modes of intervention, and would not be precluded from concurring with the suspension recommendation. As such the Panel may indeed end up validating the proposed action. 
Please indicate whether you support the establishment of a Suspension Review Panel, and if not, the basis of your opposition to such a Panel.

At this time I do not support an outside FCPS suspension and review panel. It would be extremely tough to have a panel of non FCPS people to review specific suspen􀀅ions and the reasons why do to privacy laws and regulations. I do support reviewing our suspensions and trying to make changes that address the heart of the issue. I personally believe that many of these suspensions em.anate from issues that start outside the school. Therefore, I believe that our community needs to come together and begin to address them. There are many great programs that are trying to do this such as "I believe in me". Working with community groups and mentors will help reduce behaviors that lead to suspensions. I think we also need to work with more community resources to help these kids when they do get in trouble to be educated in school instead of being suspended and at home where they are not being educated and may get into further trouble. School resources are being stretched every day and we need outside help.

The NAACP is calling for the establishment of a Minority Affairs Advisory Committee. That Committee would have jurisdiction to investigate and make recommendations regarding the foregoing issues, as well as other matters relating to minority students staff. The Board of Education currently has several standing committees, as authorized·by Section 4-112 of the Education Article of the Code of Maryland, in the areas of Special Education, Family Life, Career and Technology, etc.
Please indicate whether you support the establishment of a Minority Affairs Advisory Committee, and if not. the basis of your opposition to such a Committee.

The Board recently authorized the hiring of an independent Ombudsman who would have the power to do exactly what you are requesting here. Any cases such as those you mentioned would be referred to the Ombudsman for investigation and a report to the Board. If it is still felt that a minority affairs advisory committee is needed, I am in support of it being established. In regard to the hiring of minority teachers, it has been tough. Part of the problem has been that we were at the bottom of the state for starting teacher pay. I have worked hard to bring our starting pay back up to the top third of the state where it belongs. We have worked hard to recruit in the HBCUs but frequently lose out to counties that pay more. One of my best friends is African American. His daughter graduated Towson and wanted to teach in Frederick County, but was offered a position in Montgomery County for significantly higher pay, she choose to go there. This is not a problem that is unique to Frederick County but we still need to work hard to try to change it. I also feel the same way that we need more male teachers. Over ninety percent of all of our new teachers are female. As a society with so many children without fathers in their home, it is important to have male figures in the school. I was always impressed when my mother was principal of Hillcrest Elementary for 18 years her ability to attract many male teachers at her school. We need to encourage more young men to consider teaching as a profession!

Recently the Maryland legislature passed a law allowing tow (2) years of tuition £tee community college for most Marylanders. There is a means test that most families can meet. and the student must have maintained a 2.3 grade point average. We see that legislation as creating a window of opportunity for many struggling families and students who would not otherwise conceive of advanced education. 
Do you support an informational campaign by the Frederick County School System, or any other actions, top ensure that the $}dents and their parents are aware of this opportunity?

I one hundred percent support promoting the community college opportunity. I am proud that my dad was one of the people responsible for this happening in his role as a sponsor in the Senate. Frederick County already does a great job with duel enrollment in our schools as a leader in the state. We have a great relationship with Frederick Community College and I'm proud to have had a role in starting that with my 15 years of service on the FCC Board prior to joining the FCPS Board. I am a proud graduate of FCC as are all three of my daughters. My oldest daughter is now a registered nurse and also teaches nursing at FCC. I have also worked with local foundations to provide scholarships to families in need of them for their kids to go to college. I personally have set up a scholarship in my mom's name for a student who went to Hillcrest and goes on to FCC. This is a fantastic opportunity and I plan on doing everything I can to promote it!


Brad Young
Candidate for Board of Education


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