Public Money for Public Schools
John knows firsthand the power of public schools. By the time he was 12, both of John’s parents passed away. Like many kids who have suffered trauma, John struggled; he got into trouble and was actually kicked out of high school. It was public school educators that saved John’s life and inspired him to become an educator himself. From his time as a teacher and a principal, and as the nation’s first Afro-Latino Secretary of Education under President Obama, John has spent his entire career fighting for strong public education and opportunity for every student, especially those most underserved.
Maryland was once a national leader when it came to public education. But sadly, eight years of inadequate investment and lackluster executive leadership caused Maryland’s public schools to fall behind; and the learning disruption due to COVID has exacerbated these challenges.
Maryland needs a governor who can build on the success of the Kirwan Commission and the legislature’s recent commitment through the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future to historic investment in public education. As a lifelong educator, John knows how important it will be to make sure the Blueprint is not only properly implemented and funded, but that educators have a seat at the table to help guide the process every step of the way.
Since leaving the Department of Education at the end of the Obama administration, John has been the president of a leading national civil rights education non-profit that has been tackling the inequities in public education for students of color and students from low income backgrounds head-on. As the next Governor of Maryland, John will ensure that educational equity is at the forefront of the policymaking process.