Our schools are both organs of the state – beholden to Federal, State, and local laws & ordinances – and representative of our communities – obligated to respect the concerns of parents and students and to uphold the shared values of the communities they serve. Increasingly, our schools and the officials and administrators we elect to run them take positions at odds with parents’ concerns. Gov Hogan recently directed our school districts to begin the school year after Labor Day, a decision appreciated by many parents. Yet some district leaders balked. In Montgomery County, student absences are treated as accounting concerns instead of safety issues, with parental notifications made after school hours using generic voicemail many hours after a student is first identified as missing – hours during which their safety may be in jeopardy. Our teachers who raise the achievement of underperforming students are rightly praised, while some teachers who have the opposite effect on otherwise high-achieving students aren’t held accountable by administrators. The hours-upon-hours spent preparing for and conducting standardized testing are hindrances to effective learning and must be reduced. Taken collectively, these issues represent a decreased respect for the parents and students. I will work to change that, pressing for legislation that deepens the role and authority of parents in our children’s education.