The campaign for a seat on the Montgomery County board of education is off to a great start.  After qualifying with the local Republican party, I filed necessary paperwork with both the Secretary of State and the Ethics Commission and have now submitted my first financial report to the state.

Once a candidate has either raised or spent $1,000, they must file a financial statement at the end of the month.  (These can be found on the Secretary of State’s website.)

I am very pleased with our first report because it clearly shows strong support, especially in the education community.

We had 118 donors who gave $7,683.08 by the end of February.  This, coupled with my own contribution, gave us an ending balance of $27,683.08.  This balance was far and away much more than any of the other 22 candidates seeking five seats on the board.

If you would like to join this growing list, and we hope you will, just click here.

(Interestingly enough only three other candidates filed a financial report.  Apparently, we were the only ones to hit the $1,000 threshold.  There is one other candidate in the June 5 primary in my district, he did not file a report.)

I am deeply grateful for all those who contributed.  It is heart-warming to know so many are joining me in this effort to make a difference for Montgomery public school students.  Especially gratifying is that 64 present, or former, educators donated.  Of these, 11 are now superintendents or retired ones.

They are ready for a common-sense approach to public education.  They know we should listen to principals and teachers—not special interests—when setting policy.  They know fads and quick fixes are not the answer and want a voice to represent those who work in schools and classrooms.

(On a personal note, the fact that six of my Theodore high school classmates from decades ago contributed brings a smile and great satisfaction that friendships have lasted so long.  Heck, even the girl I took to the Senior Prom sent a contribution from Florida.)

We now have our yard signs in hand, as well as printed literature.  My intention is that these really will be YARD signs instead of signs to clutter roadways and medians.  If you would like one, or more, let me know.

Larrylee133@gmail.com

334-787-0410

Visits to local schools are inspiring and revealing. It’s no secret our schools need a lot of help.  But so far, I’ve seen a lot of people working passionately for our students.

Probably 95 percent of all I’ve met working in education say they were “called.”  Time after time someone tells me about playing school with their dolls or pets as a child.  I am convinced as surely as the Good Lord “calls” someone to go to another country to minister, many are “called” to spend their life among children.

There is simply no other reason a principal arrives at a school just after the sun comes up and stays until it is dark again.

Morale throughout the MPS system is not good.  Those who work directly with students feel unappreciated by central office staff and tell endless stories to back up their contentions.  I think the ONLY reason for a central office, either in a local system or our statewide system, is to do whatever is needed to help teachers with their students.  Unfortunately, we have too many cases where a central office staffer seems to think that teachers and principals work for them—instead of the other way around.

This attitude has got to change.

And as a board member, helping to bring about this cultural shift will be high on my list of priorities.

Again, to all those who are joining me in this effort, thanks from the bottom of my heart.  And to those who have yet to join our movement, I look forward to meeting you.

I have said countless times that EDUCATION IS EVERYONE’S BUSINESS.  If improvement is to come to MPS, we have to embrace this notion.  Education is a community function.  Join with me in showing this is the case.