Annapolis, MD – Laticia Hicks is contesting to represent District 7 in the forthcoming Board of Education election. We are privileged to interview her below.
- What is your motivation for running to represent your district?
I am running for school board because I believe in the value of public schools and the important role the school system plays in a thriving community. I believe improvements can and must be made to ensure that every child in our county has access to equitable and high-quality education. I will advocate for our teachers, children, and the community. I intend to amplify their voices and concerns to work for real solutions. I have a direct interest in the success of our schools because I am a mother whose two young children attend public school. As a parent, a giving member of the community, and a public servant who has dedicated her career in the service of others, I cannot think of a better calling than to help children.
- Why are you the most qualified
Due to my work experience and education, I feel that I am uniquely positioned to bring effective leadership to the Board of Education. My experience includes more than sixteen years as an educator working in diverse communities. I provided educational services to incarcerated individuals and managed educational and vocational programs as an administrator. As a Curriculum Specialist, I continue to develop and facilitate education and career development programs for employees within my agency. I am also active in service of my community. I have worked as an English as a Second Language instructor during evenings and weekends and have been an assistant track coach. I previously served on the PTO board of my child’s elementary school. I understand the importance of a strong public education and the positive impact effective governance practices can have on teachers, students, and the community.
- What sets you apart from the other candidate
Besides my formal education and experience as an educator, I stand apart from the other candidate because I am not a career politician. I’m a first-time candidate in a non-partisan race. I chose to run, not for convenience, not for a title, but because I genuinely care about the future of public schools. I believe that what we have in Anne Arundel County is worth fighting for, and I think that we can and must make it even better.
- What are some of the biggest challenges facing your district
The public education system must have the ability to address the needs of all students while providing educators with appropriate resources to achieve that goal. This requires the county’s commitment to prioritize its public schools to address their biggest challenges. These challenges include retaining and recruiting qualified classroom teachers, reducing class sizes, and providing a healthy and safe environment for all students.
- What are your ideas to solve them?
I will continue to advocate for a fully funded budget to address the unmet needs of the district. Underfunded schools hurt student achievement. I am equally committed to fiscal responsibility, oversight, and equity. Therefore, I support the review and evaluation of resources within schools and across the school system. This includes improving the funding formula, identify disparities in resource allocation, adopting policies to close the achievement gap, and proposing a budget that adequately addresses student needs. Additionally, I will not be afraid to eliminate redundancies and consolidate resources in areas where it makes sense without sacrificing access to quality education for all students.
- How do you plan to achieve
- A livable wage for teachers
I believe our educators deserve competitive salaries commensurate to their skill and experience. Therefore, school spending should be focused at the school level to achieve that goal. As a Board member, I will continue to advocate for retaining and recruiting the best teachers, which I believe begins with making our teachers whole by restoring lost pay steps.
- Public school funding
I believe that education must be prioritized in allocation and spending to provide the best possible pathway to success for our children. As a board member, I will advocate for a responsible budget that provides for the identified needs of the district. I support the constitutional amendment known as the “lockbox” that would prohibit the state from spending casino revenues on anything other than K-12 education. If the amendment passes, this measure would increase the state’s education funding beyond what is required by law. Revenues from the six casinos are projected to be $517 million.
- safety and security
I believe in a more proactive approach to school safety beyond simply adding additional physical security measures such as cameras or armed security officers. While security measures are important, I believe it is equally, if not more important, to invest in proactive school safety and intervention programs at all grade levels. I support the enforcement of policies and procedures that protect our children from discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying. I will continue to advocate for and support a school budget that includes a sufficient number of onsite school psychologists, counselors, and social workers at all schools in the county.
- How will you be available to constituents
During this campaign, I have knocked on many doors and engaged in a respectful dialogue where I learned from community members who shared their diverse opinions on the issues that are important to them. As a board member, I will continue to engage with the constituents regardless of political affiliation or status by being responsive to inquiries, attending meetings, and being active in community events.
- What are your plans for your district for the next 4 years
I look forward to working with the Superintendent to support the strategies outlined in the 2018–2023 Strategic Plan. I take seriously its foundational values of diversity and inclusiveness while fostering student growth, preparing all students for the future, and being sound stewards of all available resources.
- How are you funding your campaign?
I am running a non-partisan grassroots campaign funded by individual donations.
- A final thought
I am a strong advocate for public schools because I believe its mission serves in the best interest of our community and our future. Access to high-quality education for all children in our district, regardless of ability or economic status, helps improve social conditions, unifies a diverse population, and prepares these students to be good citizens in a democratic society.
As a board member, I will be a dedicated public servant working in the best interests of the students of Anne Arundel County and the school system as a whole. By serving on the School Board for District 7, I look forward to bringing new energy and leadership to help move forward policies that work to strengthen our district.