This fall and winter, PATH leaders listed to 1,400 parents, educators, students, and community members to hear how we can strengthen our community and our schools. The results of that listening became PATH United: Strong Schools, Affordable Homes. Below is our education agenda for 2016:
Standardized Testing: Eliminate standardized tests that do not improve the quality of education and instruction. Create meaningful alternative graduation requirements to the PARCC Test. Minimize the number of students forced to take the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment.
Special Education: Allow special educators and paraeducators a seat at the table to determine their training. Ensure appropriate paraeducator to student staffing ratios. Change the current HCPSS practices to create non-adversarial dispute resolutions between parents and the school system.
Class Size and staff cuts: Ensure appropriate staffing ratios, including the restoration of kindergarten and media center support staff.
Discrimination: Create new policies and guidelines that appropriately address discrimination, acts of intolerance, conscious and unconscious racial biases,and disproportionate suspension rates for black and Latino students. Ensure that curriculum and school offerings reflect cultural and ethnic diversity. Increase training and support for school staff on unconscious bias and cultural proficiency.
Healthy Food: Long Term – Create healthier lunch and breakfast options for Howard County students and ensure equity county-wide in access to healthy food in schools. Short Term – Work with the Horizon Foundation and HCPSS to ensure the success of the healthy food pilot programs in order to be able to implement system-wide.
Access to Out of School Time enrichment activities: Ensure that all students can access OST enrichment activities.
In the News
Council agrees to PATH ask – Orders independent analysis of TIF proposal
As the Howard County Council reviews a historic public financing deal tied to the redevelopment of downtown Columbia, Council Chairman Calvin Ball called for an independent analysis of a $90 million public financing tool that warrants what he calls a “thorough, independent and critical review.”…
People Acting Together in Howard, a large community organization in the county, called for the independent analysis at a hearing on Thursday.
Great write up of PATH Solidarity Campaign in the Jewish Times
In direct response to last December’s attacks in San Bernardino, Calif., which left 14 dead and 21 injured, Howard County faith leaders and People Acting Together in Howard, a broad-based community action group, held several interfaith dialogues as a way to fight against anti-Muslim sentiment.
“After the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, PATH began having conversations with members of the [local Muslim community] who were feeling uncomfortable and like they were being watched and targeted,” said Jake Cohen, lead organizer at PATH…
Take Action: Sign the Petition to Keep the Stormwater Fee and Join PATH on Tuesday, Jan 19, 6:45pm at the Council Hearing
County Executive Kittleman and County Councilman Fox have proposed to eliminate the Stormwater Fee, which generates roughly $10 million annually to keep pollutants out of the Chesapeake Bay, and instead to take that funding from the General Fund. The current fee helps provide funding for programs like the READY Program (created by PATH, the Alliance for the Chesapeake, and the county), which employ local youth to do stormwater remediation and develop job skills. If the funding were forced to come from the general fund, it could take away from funding for other important PATH initiatives, such as increasing transportation for seniors, increasing affordable housing in Howard County, and improving educational opportunities for young people. Long term, it could also harm the READY program if Howard County experiences a fiscal downturn and the general fund decreases.
The County Council needs to see that County residents support the Stormwater Fee as it exists today. Please sign the petition below to Keep The Fee and join PATH on Tuesday, January 19, 6:45 pm, at the County Council Hearing (George Howard Building, 3430 Courthouse Dr., Ellicott City, MD) where they will vote on this important bill!