Strong public schools play a critical role in our region's economy and our quality of life. That's why Jim Mathias fought against cuts to the education budget and for the Lower Shore's fair share of school construction funds.
During the worst recession in a generation, Jim Mathias helped make sure the state fully funded our public school system. He helped secure $150.3 million in state aid for the public schools in Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester Counties this year. He also helped secure $75.3 million in state aid for public school construction this term, including funds for the construction of Washington High School in Somerset County, James M. Bennett High School in Wicomico County, and Pocomoke High School and the Worcester Career and Technology Center in Worcester County.
Funding is only one part of the equation for successful schools, which is why Jim supported common sense measures to improve accountability and achievement in our classrooms. Jim voted to increase the length of time it takes for a new teacher to gain tenure, to require student achievement to be a component of teacher performance evaluations, and to establish incentives to highly effective teachers and principals who teach in specialized areas.
Thanks to strong state investments and common sense accountability measures, Maryland's public schools have been ranked #1 in the nation for two years in a row. Maryland's students outperform their peers on Advanced Placement exams. Student achievement is rising, more qualified teachers are in our classrooms, and graduation rates are climbing.