Candidates for District 16’s representative to the Maryland House of Delegates will square off in a primary election June 24.
The winner will move on to the general election Nov. 4. With the primary right around the corner, the Observer sat down with the two Democratic candidates.
Marc Korman, a Richard Montgomery alumnus and lawyer at Litigation Practice in Washington, D.C., hopes to solve many problems affecting the CHS community. He would like to primarily focus on helping Maryland’s economy.
“I believe the most important issue is sustainable economic growth and prosperity,” Korman said. “To thrive economically, we need to maintain our strong schools and improve our transportation network.”
If elected, Korman hopes to focus on improving education, transportation and the environment in District 16.
According to Korman, though the MCPS system is the largest and fastest-growing school system in the state, making up 17 percent of the state’s schools, it receives only about 11 percent of state school construction funds.
“We must allocate more state dollars for local school construction,” Korman said.
Korman has also pledged his full support of superintendent Joshua Starr’s recent announcement in support of later start times for high school students.
“There’s a lot of research that backs up how important it is to get a little more sleep,” Korman said. “We need to make sure that happens.”
Korman would also like to address the need for increased resources in the special needs and ESOL programs.
According to Korman, 15 percent of MCPS students speak English as a second language, meaning that funding must be increased in order to continue to supply ample resources to ESOL students.
Korman hopes that environmental reform will come with his campaign.
According to Korman, he hopes to “increase the generation of renewable energy,” making it easier for “home and business owners” to have their own “renewable energy projects.”
Jordan Cooper, a Walter Johnson alumnus, serves as the president of the Luxmanor Citizens Association and a member on the Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board. He also served as a legislative aide, or staffer, for a delegate of the Maryland General Assembly in 2003.
“I am the only candidate who was born and raised in District 16,” Cooper said.
In terms of educational reform, Cooper supports increased school construction to provide for the rising population in many schools, including CHS, and to end MCPS’ reliance on portables.
“The growing rate for CHS is high,” Cooper said. “I want to address overcrowding to ensure room for every child in every classroom.”
In addition, Cooper would also like to expand language immersion programs for elementary students, increasing funding for art programss, increasing public service job opportunities for high school graduates and bringing voter registration drives to MCPS schools. Cooper also promises that he would pay special attention to the CHS arts department.
“I’d like to support funding for the arts, making sure those aren’t cut,” Cooper said.
As an active member of the CHS theater and choral departments, senior Elena Freje appreciates this support from Cooper.
According to Freje, as the arts department was left “questioning [their] future” earlier this year due to budget cuts, they “need a delegate” who “won’t forget about the arts.
If elected as Delegate, Cooper has also envisioned a public service project to help high school graduates find employment directly after college. For those who choose to not go to college or pursue a gap year, Cooper plans to create a voluntary public service corps.
According to Cooper, the service corps is for all Marylanders under age 26 with certain qualifications that would provide 18 months of internships with state contractors working on state infrastructure projects. The program gives high school and college graduates “opportunities to serve the country and the state” while it also “developing the future work force.”
Finally, Cooper supports reducing the achievement gap, raising employment opportunities for Marylanders and reducing healthcare costs.
According to Cooper, if elected delegate, he plans on “driving down healthcare costs.”
Both candidates, though democratic, hope to accomplish different goals in office. The general election is Nov. 4.