Strong Schools, Affordable Homes

Howard County Board of Education, County Council & County Executive


This fall and winter, PATH leaders listened 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 is our Strong Schools, Affordable Homes education agenda for 2016:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.  
  3. Class Size and staff cuts: Ensure appropriate staffing ratios, including the restoration of kindergarten and media center support staff.  
  4. 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.  
  5. 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.  
  6. Access to Out of School Time enrichment activities: Ensure that all students can access OST enrichment activities.

Maximize Affordable Housing in the Downtown Columbia Plan: create a mixed-income community with housing opportunities for people at all income levels as quickly as possible with as many units as possible. Require any developer-requested subsidy undergo a thorough but-for analysis and rigorous review. And ensure that developers are held accountable for delivering on affordable housing. PATH does not support the TIF proposed by the Howard Hughes Corporation.

Sponsored by
Ellicott City, MD

To: Howard County Board of Education, County Council & County Executive
From: [Your Name]

I request that you fully implement the PATH United Agenda. My priority is to see stronger schools and more affordable homes in Howard County!