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ENDORSED BY THE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION OF BALTIMORE COUNTY!

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Your support is so crucial to achieving Peter's goals for the District. Contributions are accepted via mail or electronically.

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For mail: Peter Beilenson for School Board, PO Box 261, Riderwood, MD 21139

Checks should made payable to Peter Beilenson for School Board.


About Peter beilenson

Peter's Bio

*Graduated from Harvard College, Emory Medical School and Johns Hopkins   Bloomberg School of Public Health 

*Associate Faculty at Johns  Hopkins University 

*Baltimore Health Commissioner (1992-2005)

*Board Member of United Way of Central Maryland (2009-2015)

*Howard County Health Director (2007-2012)

*CEO and President of Evergreen Health (2012-2017)

*Youth Sports Coach--over 40 seasons coaching Towson Rec Basketball and   Baseball, Towson United Soccer and Kelly Post Lacrosse

*Peter and his wife, Chris  have five children--the youngest of whom attends   Dumbarton Middle School

A History of Making a Difference for Children in the Region

As Baltimore Health Commissioner, Peter significantly boosted immunization rates, dramatically reduced lead poisoning, and championed school health services.


On the United Way Board of Directors, Peter was involved in approving millions of dollars of funds for educational initiatives  throughout the Baltimore region.


As a youth rec league coach for decades in Baltimore County, Beilenson has helped several hundred young athletes to develop a love of sports and learn the importance of good sportsmanship.

What Peter Supports

*Hiring a First-Rate School Superintendent

*Implementing Universal Pre-K and Free Lunch Program

*Enhancing Anti-Bullying Initiatives and other School Safety Programs

*Reducing Class Sizes by  Hiring More Teachers

*Increase Number of Professionals (social workers, psychologists, counselors  and PPWs) to Allow for More Manageable Classrooms

*Increasing Availability of Healthy Food Alternatives and Physical Education

*Attracting and Retaining the Best Teachers and Principals in Maryland

*Providing a More Robust Life Skills Curriculum 

*Increasing the number of Community Schools Serving Areas of Concentrated   Poverty





POSITION BRIEFS

  

  • Supporting Universal Pre-K:  I’m strongly in favor of a county-wide universal Pre-K program. Public school customarily begins around the age of five while children start to learn and absorb information years before that. In fact, the human brain develops most quickly between birth and age 5. Thus, education experts recommend early education for all children. By incorporating Pre-K education into our county’s system, we can make sure that all students come to kindergarten ready for school. With everyone coming to kindergarten ready to learn, universal Pre-K allows teachers to start right off with age-appropriate lessons, rather than needing to spend time on remedial work with those who would not otherwise have been able to afford private preschool. By allowing the learning process to begin at the ages of 3 and 4, we can enhance the quality of our entire education system--it’s a no-lose situation for the parents, the county, and, most of all, the children.


  • Towards More Manageable Classrooms:  Reduced class sizes and an increase in professional staff are much needed improvements for our county’s classrooms. Just putting our bright students in classes with smart teachers is not a guaranteed formula for success. What gets lost in the current discourse of education is the personal touch each student deserves. Especially in lower grades, smaller class size has been established as a critical element of success. Elementary students, at pivotal points in their growth and development, deserve the care and attention that teachers want to give them. Over half of our county’s schools have average elementary class sizes of over 20 students. With these large class sizes, thousands of students are not getting the individual attention they ought to have.  Even modest class size reductions would allow for a much more productive classroom.  If we want our education system to work for our children, we should look no further than the classroom: the environment we create for the students will bring about the success they deserve. Therefore, I also support hiring more professional staff (social workers, counselors, school psychologists) to help students with behavioral or disciplinary issues. By providing staff to address these students’ needs outside of the classroom, it allows the teacher to maintain a more manageable environment for her/his class in which to learn.


  • Supporting Community Schools:  The presence of a Community School in a neighborhood can be the key to a truly effective educational environment. Community Schools allow for public school buildings to be used after school hours for various services and activities—for both children and adults in the community. A community school allows students a safe and productive space to enjoy after-school hours. And it allows for parents, teachers, and students to collaborate and learn together beyond the classroom. Community Schools are also cost-effective, because they turn an empty, unused public space into a positive community hub. The Community School approach has developed wide support in policy circles around the country for their positive results. These schools are particularly effective in areas of concentrated poverty at bringing parents into their child’s school for positive reasons. Evidence shows that providing services (like GED, ESL or parenting classes), to adults in a Community School leads to greater involvement in their children’s education, and their child’s readiness to learn. The end goal is to help students and their parents to enjoy learning and stress the importance of education in their lives. Too often, a failing of our modern education system is that a school feels like a foreign, unwelcome force in students’ and parents’ lives. A Community School makes a students’ school a welcoming “home away from home.” It’s time our most vulnerable students stop seeing their education as alienating and start seeing it as communal and supportive.



  • A Data-Driven Plan to Improve School Safety:   After the horrific recent event in Parkland, Florida, we urgently need to take action to increase school safety. To best inform the actions we should take to decrease the likelihood of more shootings, we need to examine the data on these tragic incidents.In doing so, I found that from the Columbine tragedy in April, 1999, to the present, there have been 37 mass shootings in schools in the United States that killed or wounded two or more students (not including an additional 35 mass shootings at U.S. colleges over that same time period).Of the 37 shootings in American High, Middle and Elementary Schools, ALL BUT SIX were committed by youths UNDER the age of 21. The vast majority of the perpetrators were deeply disturbed males who were current or former students at the affected school. In addition, a huge proportion of the shootings were committed with semi-automatic weapons like the AR-15 used in the recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Based on these facts, I think a sensible approach to preventing future mass casualty shootings in our schools emerges. We need to:
  • 1) Raise the age for buying a gun to 21  
  • 2) Close the background check loopholes
  • 3) Take semi-automatic weapons (like the AR-15) off the market
  • 4) Make our schools more secure with doors that lock from the inside 
  • 5) Encourage and support students to feel empowered to put the “see or hear something, say something” approach into action in their school
  • 6) Ensure mental health treatment is available to troubled youths

            I know there will be those who argue that these measures will not keep guns out of the hands of potential assailants              (i.e. a student intent on mayhem might get a gun owned by a parent). However, the record shows that that was true in many shootings. Nevertheless, even if these actions might not prevent all future shootings, this 

approach would undoubtedly make them much less common. 


Whether or not I am elected to the Baltimore County school board, I will advocate strongly for these sensible reforms.

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Peter Beilenson for Baltimore County School Board

(443) 315-9766

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