Rebecca Chesner, candidate for Baltimore County Board of Education District 2 – Capital Gazette | #specialneeds | #kids

Baltimore County Board of Education
District 2

Rebecca Chesner



Baltimore County

Retired school psychologist

M.A., C.A.S. in school psychology

From the time I was in elementary school I always cared about political issues and making a positive difference in the world.I have always been politically involved but never actually ran for office unless you consider my running for the Vice President of the G.O. in the seventh grade, which I won by the way.

What do you see as the most pressing issue the county school system faces and how would you address it?

I am deeply saddened how the government managed the pandemic. The lockdowns and mandates that took place over the past two years deeply impacted our children academically, cognitively and emotionally. The data is indicating that cognitive and academic delays are significant, especially for the younger children and special needs population and that it will take quite some time to correct. The emotional impact, including the significant rise in depression and anxiety has harmed our children as well and we need to recognize this and correct this because our children are our future.

How should county schools assist students in recovering from the learning loss?

We must find ways to make up for the educational loss that our children suffered over the past two years. Measures could include extra tutoring, perhaps summer school programs and creating environments where our children are not living in fear.

Should the county school board redraw school boundaries further? If so, using what criteria?

Frankly, I’m tired of school boards and Any government agency wasting precious time redistricting or playing around with the population based on race, ethnicity or socio-economic status. A great education should be available to ALL our families, regardless of where they live.Let’s work towards an education system that is beyond reproach no matter where we draw the lines.

What efforts do the county schools need to make to address systemic racism in education and society?

One of the best ways to do this is by encouraging academic excellence. There has got to be accountability and transparency. Keeping children home for the past two years did not help our poorer communities whose parents could not afford to stay home and monitor and help their children with virtual learning. I also believe we need to focus on policies that unite us rather than divide us. We should be promoting ideas that create empowerment and not victim hood. Victim hood breeds hate, anger and revenge. Empowerment breeds confidence, motivation and success.

What, if any, changes would you propose to the school system’s discipline policies?

Over the years I believe that our discipline policies have become lax due to politics. Politics should be left out when it comes to school safety. There should be zero tolerance when it comes to serious behaviors that put students and staff at risk.

How would you set priorities for school construction and renovation? Has the county devoted adequate resources to maintaining or replacing school buildings?

The county has absolutely allocated adequate resources to our schools and infrastructure, however our government has not spent them wisely. Of course we should always prioritize our children’s education, which includes their learning environment. However, along with this goal we should also prioritize our government leaders to do so n a balanced budget environment! It is not acceptable to push Baltimore County spending to the limit when we have alternatives to cut unnecessary spending like Covid 19 “relief fund” or income decreases in the form of student loan forgiveness.

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