FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ASHBURN, Virginia – September 9, 2015 – Joy Maloney, candidate for Loudoun County School Board in the Broad Run district spoke at the Loudoun Education Alliance of Parents School Board Forum tonight at the School Administration building. Here are some excerpts from her remarks:
ON HER EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS
“As a former teacher whose daughter has attended Loudoun’s public schools for the last 10 years, I’ll work to make our schools the best they can be. That includes lower class sizes and full-day kindergarten for all our kids.”
“I…taught for five years before being recruited into information technology.”
“As we finally roll out more technology in our classrooms, my combination of teaching, private, and public sector experience would be unmatched on our School Board.”
“I’m honored to have been recommended by the Loudoun Education Association – our principals, administrators, teachers, specialists and more – as their choice for our district’s School Board member…I hope to be your choice as well.”
ON FULL-DAY KINDERGARTEN
“We should have full-day kindergarten for all of our kids. Back in 2009, the School Board goal says LCPS ‘will develop a long-term plan to establish full-day kindergarten for all students countywide.’ That’s 2009. That’s been in the School Board’s goals until this year.
The biggest obstacle to getting universal full-day kindergarten has been some of our School Board members, unfortunately. Dr. Williams back in December brought this up in a budget session about expanding full-day kindergarten, and he concluded, ‘One thing I’m not hearing is we want a universal full-day kindergarten proposal.’
We need to have a plan. We need to have it now. I think it’s realistic that we could get there in three to four years, once we decide that we’re going to do it.
Right now, we’re the only district in the entire DC metro area that doesn’t have full-day kindergarten, and unfortunately, my opponent has consistently been against it. As LEAP knows, he came here back in November to speak against it.
As far as I’m concerned, yes, we can have it, and yes, we can get it done.”
ON HIRING TO MIRROR TEACHER DIVERSITY TO STUDENT DIVERSITY
“We need to be mirroring [student racial demographics] in our teachers but we also need to be mirroring that in our principals. Two-thirds of our middle school and high school principals are male principals. We need to be concerned not just about racial diversity but also about gender diversity.”
ON SPECIAL EDUCATION
“I’m proud to have the support of the past and current presidents of the Special Education Advisory Committee, Lisa Glasgow and Jodi Folta. Their advocacy helps all of our kids. They’ve advocated for inclusion. They’ve advocated for positive behavioral intervention strategies. My daughter had a friend in middle school with Down Syndrome, and she never would have had that friend if we didn’t have the inclusive practices that we do. I do believe we have challenges with professional development and also in hiring. If you look right now, we have 12 openings on our website for special education teachers. I definitely support looking at expanding the Monroe Tech program at the new Academies of Loudoun for special education transitioning.”
ON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL FOREIGN LANGUAGE
“I think we need elementary school foreign language opportunities back. It was cut two years ago, and when you look, we’re again the only district in the DC metro area without any elementary school foreign language opportunities. When it was cut, we talked about starting a Spanish immersion pilot and it’s been dropped. We need to look at that again and figure out how we’re going to get that back in our schools.”
ON CONVINCING OUR COUNTY SUPERVISORS TO PRIORITIZE EDUCATION
“As the founder of Support Our Schools – Loudoun, we have 1,600 people that are dedicated towards making our kids education a top priority, and I’ve been working on that with our Board of Supervisors for the last two years. My now-former supervisor and I have had discussions all throughout the budget process even when he was going through things where I definitely did not want to pick up the phone and call him. He would say to me, ‘I’m not hearing this from our School Board member that this is that important. I’m hearing it from you but I’m not hearing it from our School Board member.’ We need to make sure we’re persistent in our communications and that we are putting our kids first.”
ON SAFETY AND BULLYING
“One thing we need to do with regard to bullying is to change our culture to celebrate our diversity. Our School Board took out the word ‘diversity’ from our Vision 20/20 framework despite the recommendation of staff and every stakeholder who saw that document.”
“We need to make sure that our schools are environments where everyone feels safe to be their true selves, no matter what culture, no matter whether they are differently abled.”
ON BRING-YOUR-OWN-DEVICE TECHNOLOGY
“Since I work in information technology, of course I would like to have computers for all of our kids.
I understand why we are doing bring-your-own-device. Obviously, it saves money. It’s another situation where we’re pushing an expense onto our parents. As long as they are willing and able to do that, then it’s going to work for us. But we do have a 17% economically-challenged population in our schools, and we need to make sure that everyone who is in that situation knows how they can get one of these devices because right now that’s not happening. It needs to be coordinated better and it needs to be better understood by all of our parents."