Montgomery Co. Elected Officials Warn Voters About School Board Candidate

By Guest Commentary
Maryland Matters
May 25, 2020
Read full story here.

A significant number of Montgomery County elected officials have written an open letter to voters about the upcoming at-large Board of Education election in the county. The full text is reprinted here:

As elected officials from Montgomery County, we have different backgrounds, priorities, and passions. But one thing we have in common is that we stand committed to equity and inclusion, particularly in our public schools.

In our county’s Board of Education primaries, we therefore encourage voters to seek candidates who want to uplift all segments of our diverse and complex student population. There are 13 choices in the race for at-large school board, and they represent a range of perspectives. Though our group has not coalesced around a single candidate for this seat, we are united in expressing concern about one particular candidate: Stephen Austin.

As The Washington Post noted:

“Some school board candidates (in particular, at-large hopeful Stephen Austin) have spread fear and misinformation about the board’s launch of a much-needed study of school boundaries. Contrary to claims about plots to socially re-engineer the schools, there are no plans for massive cross-county busing.”

Though we don’t all agree on school boundaries or school board candidates, we do agree on the importance of thoughtful, civil dialogue. It is perhaps not surprising that one of Mr. Austin’s biggest supporters is gadfly Robin Ficker, who is himself attempting to constrain Montgomery County’s school resources through a ballot question later this year.

We work each day to support our constituents and to make our communities strong, effective, and successful. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, our school system will be a key determinant of Montgomery County’s future success and economic health. There are good choices to represent all perspectives in the upcoming race for Board of Education, At-Large. Stephen Austin is not one of them.


Sen. Cheryl Kagan

Sen. Nancy King

Sen. Ben Kramer

Sen. Will Smith

Del. Lorig Charkoudian

Del. Charlotte Crutchfield

Del. Bonnie Cullison

Del. Lesley Lopez

Del. Eric Luedtke

Del. David Moon

Del. Kirill Reznik

Del. Vaughn Stewart

County Executive Marc Elrich

Councilmember Gabe Albornoz

Councilmember Tom Hucker

Councilmember Will Jawando

Councilmember Nancy Navarro

Councilmember Craig Rice

Councilmember Hans Riemer