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Parents Form Advocacy Group to Improve County Schools

The first meeting of the new parents group will be March 27 at the Broadneck Library.

Parents dissatisfied with the process of public input at Anne Arundel County Public Schools have formed a new group to gather ideas for improvement to schools and will hold their first meeting in March at the .

The Parents Advocacy Network will be chaired by , the former president of the Anne Arundel County Board of Education's Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC), before .  but her words were not heeded by the school board.

In a press release issued Monday, Conti said she polled residents online and found many were dissatisfied with their level of input at local schools.

“Many parents feel they don’t have enough of a voice in what happens in our schools,” Conti said in the release.

The first meeting of the Parents Advocacy Network is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. March 27 at the Broadneck Library. More information on the group can be found on their website.

The full press release:

An independent group called the Parents Advocacy Network is being formed to provide concerned citizens with an effective way to advocate for improvements in Anne Arundel County Public Schools.  

In an online survey this month of 283 citizens who had previously expressed interest in improving county schools, 91% said they would like an independent advocacy group to be formed. According to Joanna Conti, Acting Chair of the new Parents Advocacy Network, “many parents feel they don’t have enough of a voice in what happens in our schools.” 

When asked why they felt such a group was needed, respondents made statements such as “parents are having less and less say in the situations in our school,” “programs have been implemented or removed without any open discussion with community members,” and “the reformatted CAC (Citizen Advisory Committee) is not an effective advocacy tool.” The largest areas of concern among survey respondents were that talented students are not being adequately challenged, citizens want more influence on educational policies, education is being dumbed down, and class sizes at some schools are too large.

The first meeting of the Parents Advocacy Network will be from 6:45 – 8:45 p.m. on Tuesday, March 27th at the Broadneck Library, 1275 Green Holly Drive, Annapolis. Anyone who is interested in improving Anne Arundel County schools is encouraged to attend. After a short organizational meeting, attendees will break into groups to brainstorm how to best approach searching for innovative solutions to specific concerns. More information can be found at www.ParentsAdvocacyNetwork.org.  

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