Candidate Survey: Arun Puracken for Prince George’s County Board of Education
Prince George’s County
B/A – University of Maryland, Baltimore County
High School – Largo High School
Middle School Social Studies Teacher
4th year educator in PGCPS
Volunteering on PGCPS school board campaigns by working polls, phone banking, door knocking, general canvassing, and strategic planning.
Why are you running for office?
PGCPS has lost the faith of many families in our community that they can deliver a high quality educational experience to their students. As a school teacher, I have had the greatest experience in spite of the failures of PGCPS central office. My goal is to ensure equity in our schools with leadership that operates ethically.
Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
As a middle school Social Studies teacher, I participated civically because I felt it was my duty and that I should set an example for my students. I did not have a motive to be a legislative decision maker. I was also able to develop very organic relationships with colleagues, families, and students that will serve me well as I transition in politics. As a respected educator, I hope that my community sees my campaign as honest and one that has been supplemented with outstanding effort in the classroom.
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
What is your favorite book about education, and why?
Courageous Conversations about Race
By: Glenn Singleton, Curtis Linton
What will be your top priority on the Board of Education?
Equity for students, educators, community members, and school facilities.
What is the biggest issue facing your county schools?
Corrupt leadership and extreme waste in PGCPS central office.
What are the three biggest issues facing Maryland schools?
1) Lack of Equity
2) Inadequate Funding
3) Inadequate access to high quality educational programming/experiences
Have you read your county schools curriculum? If so, which parts do you like and which parts do you dislike?
I like the autonomy Social Studies teachers have to create unique lessons but it provides very little help to new educators. Effective sample lesson plans are important especially for new educators to learn about the classroom flow.
What is your position on school spending?
We need to fix the fund in Maryland and increase the amount of funding that goes to public schools. There needs to be accountability and paperwork around casino money so it is streamlined into public schools and increases as the casino revenue increases.
Please identify the three areas which you believe should be prioritized when it comes to school funding
Classroom Technology/Computers, Special Education, Teacher Pay
What is your position on teacher tenure?
Tenure at the current status is fine.
What is your position on standardized testing?
We need to reduce the amount of standardized testing.
What is your position on classroom size?
Elementary School classroom size should be capped at 20 and this does come with significant changes to infrastructure. MS classrooms should be capped at 26-27 with also significant changes to infrastructure.
Do you believe the Board of Education should having taxation authority?