Tuesday, October 22, 2013

SURVEYS: Anthony Brown, Doug Gansler & Heather Mizeur Differ on Education // PLUS: MSEA Endorses Brown for Gov

This weekend, the Maryland State Education Association interviewed candidates for Maryland Governor and endorsed Lt. Governor Anthony Brown for the 2014 race. Below we provide a quick excerpt from Maryland Reporter's coverage of the endorsement process, along with a video of Anthony Brown's speech and candidate surveys from Brown and his competitors Doug Gansler and Heather Mizeur:

JUICE #1: MARYLAND REPORTER'S COVERAGE OF THE MSEA GUBERNATORIAL ENDORSEMENT - Maryland Reporter's Len Lazarick summarized details of this weekend's MSEA battle for the endorsement of the state's teachers (excerpt below):
MARYLAND REPORTER: The pandering cameras were on at the Maryland State Education Association in Ocean City Friday as four candidates for governor came seeking the endorsement of the largest union in the state with promises in hand.

Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown walked away with the prize less from what he promised in a brief 10 minute speech — spending $500 million a year on public school construction, for one —  than for what he and Gov. Martin O’Malley delivered to public schools over the last six years — the most massive increase in funding in Maryland history, $1.5 billion more in school aid, 35% higher over six years.

Brown even overcame understandable grumbling over the O’Malley-Brown administration moves on teachers pension that produced the largest State House rally in recent memory, or even the partial shift of teacher pension costs to the counties. Brown’s running mate, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, had opposed that move....

Brown wound up with 71% of the tally from the 600-member representative assembly — probably one of the most democratic and open of the union endorsements.... To broadcast their endorsement, MSEA is scheduled to begin three days of advertising on online news sites this week, paid for by their political action committee.

JUICE #2: BROWN, GANSLER & MIZEUR'S SURVEY RESPONSES TO MSEA QUESTIONNAIRE - Below you can read the full survey responses to MSEA's questionnaire from Anthony Brown, Doug Gansler & Heather Mizeur. The survey asked the candidates about a range of issues including school funding formulas, Maintenance of Effort (MOE) policies, voucher funding, and more. Though most of the candidates answered the questions in the same manner, I noticed a few differences in the surveys (details below):
DIFFERENCE #1: GOVERNMENT FUNDING FOR PRIVATE AND RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS - On the question of how much funding the state should provide for private and religious schools (Question #9), Mizeur stated she supported eliminating this funding, while Brown supported maintaining the funding levels established a decade ago. Gansler didn't check any of the options on this question but stated he would "evaluate the funding currently diverted to nonpublic schools."

DIFFERENCE #2: PENSION FUNDING FOR NEW SCHOOL SYSTEM EMPLOYEES - On the question of whether to treat new and existing school employees differently with respect to pension funding (Question #10), Mizeur & Gansler both proposed treating all employees the same, while Brown proposed maintaining the current split treatment.

DIFFERENCE #3: COUNTY EXECUTIVE OR COUNCIL CONTROL OF SCHOOL BUDGETS & SUPERINTENDENT SELECTION - On the question of whether to allow County Executives or Councils to take control of the hiring of Superintendents or school budgets (Question #22), Mizeur & Brown were both opposed, while Gansler didn't check any of the options and instead stated, "As a general rule, I support local school boards charged with authority to select the local school  superintendent, establish curriculum, and develop policy.... That said, I think it is possible that at certain times and under certain circumstances, a county may determine that its education needs will be better met by diminishing local influence, and once that decision has been made, it is the obligation of a Governor to bring stakeholders together and help facilitate the success of that arrangement not second guess the community’s decision."

JUICE #3: VIDEO OF ANTHONY BROWN'S MSEA SPEECH - Below you can see the speech that Anthony Brown made to attendees at this weekend's MSEA convention:

JUICE # 4: MSEA'S PRESS RELEASE ANNOUNCING THE ENDORSEMENT OF ANTHONY BROWN FOR GOVERNOR - Below you can see the press release issued by MSEA announcing the endorsement of Anthony Brown for Governor:


Maryland State Education Association Endorses Anthony Brown
for Maryland’s Next Governor

“The champion our students need,” says MSEA President Betty Weller

October 19, 2013, Ocean City: The Maryland State Education Association’s Representative Assembly (RA) voted today to endorse Anthony Brown in the race for Maryland’s next governor. Delegates from every county in the state voted on the endorsement during the association’s largest and most diverse meeting of the year. The vote followed a comprehensive process that included candidate questionnaires and interviews on a wide range of issues affecting Maryland’s public schools and students, as well as remarks before the RA on October 18.

“Anthony Brown is the champion our students need to continue to move Maryland’s schools forward,” said MSEA President Betty Weller. “MSEA and our 70,000 members look forward to working with Anthony Brown on the campaign trail and on a host of critical issues, including equitable school funding, implementing Common Core and teacher evaluations well, and ensuring that every student has the opportunities and programs that they need to succeed. Under Anthony Brown’s leadership, Maryland will continue to be an excellent place to raise a family, start a business, or send a child to a great public school.”

“I am honored to receive the MSEA endorsement,” said Anthony Brown.  “As lieutenant governor, I have worked with the leaders and members of MSEA to address big issues and make Maryland schools #1 in the nation.  Our work is not done.  I will rely heavily on the advice and support of MSEA to both win this election and to make the critical governing decisions to invest in our educators and schools, close the achievement gap, and continue to move Maryland’s schools forward.”

MSEA is the 70,000-member Maryland affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA), which represents over 3 million education employees across the country. MSEA is the state’s largest professional employee organization. Members include elementary and secondary teachers, education support professionals, certificated specialists, school administrators, retired educators, higher education faculty, and students preparing to become teachers. MSEA supports 39 local affiliated associations throughout Maryland.


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