Tony Chmelik believes so strongly that there should be an overhaul of the school curriculum that he is running again for the Frederick County Board of Education.
After an unsuccessful bid for the board in 2008, Chmelik said his decision stems from his worries about an educational plan that he thinks doesn’t fully meet the needs of children.
“I’m very concerned about the lack of phonics instruction in early reading instruction and the direction of our social studies program,” he said. “Our children deserve an education that is at least on par with the rest of the world in all subjects, and free from political or ideological bias.”
Chmelik said he is concerned teachers are more focused on subjects that only help students perform better on standardized tests.
The father of 11 children, Chmelik said he and his wife, Becky, home-school their children until the eighth grade and then decide if they will attend public high school. They currently have one son enrolled at Urbana High School. They home-school because they are dissatisfied with the public school system.
The 44-year-old said as a county taxpayer and a graduate of Linganore High School, he has a vested interest in the school system, even though his children are home-schooled.
“[Home-schoolers] answer to Frederick County Public Schools,” he said. “We are part of Frederick County Public Schools.”
There are about 2,312 home-school students in the county. To meet state requirements, Frederick County Public Schools monitor the progress of home-schooled children.
Chmelik is one of 12 people running for the Frederick school board in the April 3 primary election. The candidates are competing for three of seven seats on the board, whose members serve four-year terms and have staggered elections every two years.
School board members are paid $10,000 annually. The president of the board makes $11,000. The race is nonpartisan, so the six top vote-getters in the primary will move on to the general election Nov. 6.