Invest In Education
As a candidate for the Arlington County Board, I believe that education is the key to unlocking the full potential of our community. Through my experience as the President of the Arlington Rotary Club and board member of Arlington Rotary Educational Foundation I have gained a window into the needs of parents, teachers, students, and staff at our schools. As part of my work with the Rotary Club, I manage our scholarship program. This work involves reviewing countless applications, many from students in households making below 30% area median income. All too often, I see students choosing to attend private schools with incredibly high price tags, when similar public in state colleges offer comparable education at a fraction of the cost. It is a travesty that short-sighted leaders at the highest levels in Arlington fail to prioritize proper staffing and compensation for teachers and staff, ultimately leading to these types of short-sighted failures with enormous consequences.
Considering these high stakes, we must continue to prioritize investing in our schools and educators. As the county grows and changes, our school system must keep up with the increasing demands on our educational infrastructure. We need to make sure that our classrooms are equipped with the latest technology, our teachers have the resources they need to provide the best possible instruction, and our students have access to a variety of extracurricular activities that will help them develop their talents and interests.
We must also ensure that our schools are safe and welcoming environments for all students, teachers, and staff. This means ensuring that our schools are safe and drug free and that students and teachers have appropriate access to mental health resources. Furthermore, Arlington County government must continue to work with Arlington Public Schools to ensure that adequate activities are available for students during the summer and between the hours of 2-8 when many students lack parental supervision. We must also address the achievement gap that exists between different student populations in our county. While our schools are known for their high overall performance, we cannot ignore the fact that there are significant disparities in academic outcomes between students of different races, socioeconomic statuses, and abilities. To address this issue, we must provide targeted support to those students who need it most, whether through individualized instruction, additional resources, or other means.
Finally, we must look beyond our schools and focus on the larger ecosystem of education in our county. This means working with our local colleges such George Mason and NVCC to provide more opportunities for students to pursue higher education and career training. It also means providing greater resources to BizLaunch to facilitate better relationships between local businesses and graduating students to ensure access to internships and apprenticeships that will give them real world work experience.
In conclusion, I believe that improving education in Arlington County is one of the most important tasks we can undertake. By investing in our schools, creating safe and welcoming learning environments, addressing the achievement gap, and building stronger connections between our schools and the larger community, we can ensure that every student in our county can succeed. As a member of the Arlington County Board, I am committed to making this vision a reality.