Common Candidate Questionnaire for use in Howard County Board of Education Election 2020

There is a common questionnaire that is being proposed to many endorsement entities to use to reduce the time candidates have to spend completing endorsement work. Each entity that ends up participating in the use of this common questionnaire, (CommonQ) could possibly publicize the answers. Each entity also will contact candidates regarding their own supplemental additional questionnaires and due dates.

To date, the following entities have agreed to participate in the CommonQ –

  • Chinese American Political Association PAC (POC Hongling Zhou)
  • Howard County Families for Education Improvement (POC Vipin Sahijwani)
  • Howard County Neighbors United (POC Steve Keller)
  • Indian Origin Network of Howard County (IONHoCo) (POC Pravin Ponnuri)
  • Scott E’s Blog (POC Scott Ewart)
  • The People’s Voice Ethics Ballot  (POC Lisa Markovitz)
  • HoCo Kids (POC Jen Nussbaum)

Other entities have been invited to participate either in the primary or the general election. Further information will be forwarded when responses are received from the Howard County Education Association (HCEA), African Americans in Howard County (AAIHC) and the African American Coalition of Howard County (AACHC).

The plan is to turn this project over to a third party, such as The League of Women Voters to administer in the future.

Here is a listing of questions that has been provided to the candidates:

  1. Why are you running?
  2. Explain why you are qualified to hold this position.
  3. Have you ever testified before County or State Boards or done public volunteer work?
  4. With regard to school redistricting, what do you believe are the three top priorities, in order, that should be considered as reasons to redistrict, or goals of redistricting? How would you suggest those goals be met?
  5. Do you believe that residents should be able to rely on students attending their neighborhood schools? Why or why not?
  6. How do you feel the HCPSS should deal with overcapacity school issues?
  7. Do you believe developers should contribute more to fund schools? Do you believe developers should have to wait longer to build in overcapacity areas? How do you suggest the County Council and Board of Education work together to address overcapacity issues?
  8. What does equitable provision of education by the HCPSS, mean to you? How do you suggest that be implemented? 
  9. What do you believe Board of Education Members can do to achieve the highest level of achievement for all? Please include in your answer what you believe should be done to close any achievement gaps, be specific. Please also include in your answer, applicable related positions on homework and GT programs.
  10. Do you believe the Board of Education race should remain non-partisan on the ballot? If so, how is your campaign remaining non-partisan?
  11. If elected, what are the top three goals you would want to work upon in your first year in office?
  12. Do you believe the Superintendent’s requested budget is too high, too low or just right? If too low, how much should it be, and what other county budget items should be cut to fund it? If too high what should be cut from the request? 
  13. What is your position on each of the current local Howard County State bills?
  14. Do you feel class sizes are too high or too low? Why?
  15. How should performance be measured, of students, of teachers?
  16. What do you believe should be done to attempt to improve physical safety in schools?
  17. How would you as a Board Member oversee your only employee and review and instruct the Superintendent? Are you pleased with the current Superintendent? Would you vote to renew his contract? Why or why not?
  18. Do you believe the HCPSS is serving the needs of the Special Education community? If not, what needs to be changed?

That is the list of questions for the candidates.

As the various entities post the responses online or make endorsements based on the candidate responses I will try and get out posts for the readers of this blog with links.

OK blog readers…here is your opportunity to weigh in. What was not asked in the questionnaire that should be asked in the various upcoming candidate forums? Have a suggestion (or two)…let me know in the comments or email me at

I hope to see you at the various candidates forums or meet and greets on the schedule:

Scott E

[the_ad_group id=”1811″]

One comment

  1. Watching the budget work session today, I heard the superintendent say, “We can’t cut our way to excellence. We will have to figure out a different way to get services to all our students.” I also heard a board member say, “We are going to have to consider alternative delivery models.” Hearing that sounds like the stage is being set for a discussion about Charter and/or Magnet schools. I’d like to see a question to the candidates concerning their stances on those delivery models and if they believe they are appropriate for Howard County.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s