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​​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.

Yes, I am in favor of creating a Suspension Review Panel. The goal should be to keep students in school to educate them. An educated child will be a productive adult citizen. Allowing students to spend time out of school will result in students going down a path to committing crimes as an adult, therefore ending up in prison. Let’s educate children and not send them down the wrong path. 

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.


Yes, I would be in favor of establishing a Minority Affairs Advisory Committee. There have been highly qualified African-American teachers who have applied and interviewed by FCPS and not been offered a job or offered a job too late. The applicants who were offered the job too late are now working in neighboring counties. Those counties knew the candidate was qualified, acted fast and offered a job to the applicant. Open contracts would be a method that could alleviate this issue. Many minority students do not get to see a teacher that looks like them in all of their years attending a public school, and it is beneficial for all students to learn from a diverse teaching staff. 


Recently the Maryland legislature passed a law allowing tow (2) years of tuition free 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 students and their parents are aware of this opportunity?


Yes, I would support an informational campaign by FCPS to make parents and students aware of the tuition free community college option. In addition to the student’s entrance into community college, there needs to be a support system to ensure the success of the student in college. The support system would include transportation, mentoring, tutoring and other support the student would need. We need to make sure the student’s college career at community college is successful and they have developed the skills to attend a four-year college to complete their Bachelor’s degree. 


            





Jay Mason
Candidate for Board of Education

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