High-Quality Education

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Public education will be one of the top issues of the upcoming legislative session. I firmly believe that every child in our state deserves a quality education, no matter where they live. We are fortunate to have many fantastic schools in our community, but that is not the case in many parts of our state. During the 2019 session, I supported legislation to enact the preliminary recommendations of the Kirwan Commission.

An important element added to this legislation is the significant accountability measures that Governor Larry Hogan and I have advocated for over the last two years. The bill creates an independent Office of the Inspector General to investigate allegations of waste, fraud and abuse in our local school systems. With the recent and repeated allegations of wrongdoing and mismanagement in school systems across the state, this is a critical initiative.

The final recommendations of the Kirwan Commission are due in a few months and there are serious concerns that the price tag for fully enacting the Kirwan recommendations could lead to significant tax increases.

During the Glendenning administration, when the Thornton Commission recommendations were passed, providing historic funding for education, no funding source was identified. As a result, the state has been plagued with an ongoing structural deficit that contributed to the massive tax increases during the O’Malley administration.

While we all want our state to have a world-class education system, we have to do this right, and money is not the only ingredient in the solution. I am hopeful we can find bipartisan solutions that provide our children with the education they deserve without crippling their families with monstrous tax increases.

Those debates, while important, are still a few months off. It’s hard to believe that summer is winding down quickly. The 2019-2020 school year will soon be upon us and many families have already begun their back-to-school shopping.

If you are not sure what supplies your child needs for the upcoming school year, Anne Arundel County Public Schools has links to supply lists for all schools in the county. You can access these lists at www.aacps.org/schoolsupplies.

A variety of organizations help provide school supplies for children in need across Anne Arundel County. They work with school counselors to identify students in need and provide backpacks full of school supplies to the schools for distribution. The Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services administers one such program.

If you would like to donate supplies to a student or students in need, contact the back-to-school program office at 410-269-4462. In addition, Anne Arundel County Public Library is partnering with the Sharing Foundation to collect school supplies for children in need. Donations of school supplies are being accepted at all library locations, including Mountain Road Library and Riviera Beach Library. If you need assistance in providing school supplies for your children, contact the guidance department at your child’s school.

To kick off the year, schools will be hosting back-to-school events for students and their families. Some of these events occur prior to the school year starting. For a county-wide listing, visit www.aacps.org/btsevents. Below is a list of the back-to-school events in District 31B. Please contact the school if you have specific questions about these events:

NORTHEAST FEEDER SYSTEM
Northeast High: August 28 at 6:00pm
George Fox Middle: September 10 at 6:00pm
Solley Elementary (Pre-K through Grade 2): September 11 at 6:30pm
Solley Elementary (Grades 3-5): September 12 at 6:30pm
Sunset Elementary: September 17 at 6:30pm
Riviera Beach Elementary: September 19 at 6:30pm
High Point Elementary: September 26 at 6:00pm

CHESAPEAKE FEEDER SYSTEM
Pasadena Elementary: August 29 at 5:30pm
Lake Shore Elementary: August 29 at 6:00pm
Fort Smallwood Elementary: August 29 at 6:00pm
Bodkin Elementary: September 5 at 5:30pm
Chesapeake Bay Middle: September 12 at 6:00pm
Chesapeake High: September 19 at 6:30pm
Jacobsville Elementary: September 26 at 6:00pm

I hope students and teachers have had a great summer and are refreshed and ready for another school year. As always, if I can be of any assistance to you, do not hesitate to contact me at 410-841-3421 or by email at nicholaus.kipke@house.state.md.us.

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