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The November election is quickly approaching. This is an incredibly important election for the future of our state and nation. In Maryland, every state office is on the ballot as are nearly every county office in the state. In Carroll County however, perhaps the most crucial contest on the ballot is one many often don’t pay much attention to, Carroll County Board of Education. Voters will be selecting three members out of the five member board, a majority. We have been extremely fortunate over the past few years to have a strong, pro-transparency, pro-parent Board of Education. 

When operating properly, school boards provide needed oversight and accountability to the school system, careful fiscal management and support our teachers and staff, creating a positive educational environment. It's become clear in the past three years how important our local boards of education are in keeping politics and inappropriate social topics out of the classroom - as well as getting unneeded or outdated mandates overturned. 

Now, control of the Board of Education is on the ballot. There are now six candidates left, running to fill three seats. I'm proud to support the following three candidates, Tara Battaglia, James Miller and Steve Whisler. Tara is running for re-election and she has been on the right side of every major fight since the pandemic began. She's always been a responsive person, connected to the community. James Miller is a parent, coach and businessperson who is very involved with the Rec Sports programs in the county. Steve Whisler is a veteran, former small business owner, classroom teacher and tutor with extensive business and educational experience.

It is vital that Carroll County elects the BMW slate to the Board of Education, to keep a board that preserves local control and questions things that come from the state level instead of just rubber-stamping as the opponents in this race are on record saying the board should do. 

While most of our state kept children out of schools for nearly two full school years, the common sense, pro-student majority currently serving on the Carroll County BOE fought to get them back into school fully. Our schools were even the first in the state to not have a mask mandate, as the data clearly showed that children and young adults were among the lowest risk population when it came to COVID.

Without the local control that our BOE demonstrated, our students could have been stuck with virtual learning for nearly twice as long as they had to endure. Not only were there clear academic losses, but students, especially elementary school students, lost so much opportunity to learn social skills and get comfortable with their young educational careers. 

Tara Battaglia, Jim Miller & Steve Whisler will continue this practical, common sense approach to leading our school system that focuses on academic achievement instead of politics and engages and listens to parents and those serving in our schools on the ground, in the classroom.

I hope you’ll join me in supporting Battaglia, Miller & Whistler for Carroll County Board of Education on November 8th!

Justin Ready

The writer is a State Senator representing District 5