Montgomery County teachers union backs General Assembly incumbents -- Gazette.Net







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The Montgomery County Education Association announced Friday that it is endorsing 24 Maryland General Assembly incumbents running for re-election from the county.

The union said in a statement that each candidate “has a strong record as an advocate for public education.”

The teachers union did not include recommendations for open seats in the General Assembly. The union is scheduled to interview candidates running for open seats in January.

Several state legislators are running for different positions next year, opening up seats for challengers. Some are not running again.

Del. Susan C. Lee (D-Dist. 16) and Del. Luiz R.S. Simmons (D-Dist. 17) are both running for Senate positions.

Del. C. William Frick (D-Dist. 16) and Sen. Brian E. Frosh (D-Dist. 16) are both running for attorney general.

Del. Heather Mizeur (D-Dist. 20) is running for governor.

Del. Sam Arora (D-Dist. 19) is not running for re-election and Sen. Jennie M. Forehand (D-Dist. 17) had not announced as of this week whether she is running.

Doug Prouty, the union’s president, said the pool of candidates vying for the General Assembly’s seats that will be vacant is “very interesting.”

“I’m very pleased with the folks we have running for open seats right now,” Prouty said. “As a group of folks, they seem to be engaged in learning about the school system and very supportive of the school system.”

Prouty said he would like to see the open-seat candidates learn more about evaluations of and support for teachers and principals in the county’s professional growth system.

The system is important for the candidates to understand, Prouty said, because it has been an “ongoing discussion” the union has had with legislators and state education officials.

Prouty said one thing the union hopes the incumbents highlight in their campaigns is the county’s need for additional school construction money from the state.

The county school board is asking for a $1.74 billion Capital Improvements Program budget for fiscal years 2015 through 2020. Montgomery County schools Superintendent Joshua P. Starr has said the school system actually needs $2.2 billion to cover its capital improvement needs over the six-year period.