Candidate Survey: Michael Lukas for Charles County Board of Education
B.S. Electrical Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park. Graduate classes in Systems Engineering, Naval Post Graduate School and George Mason University.
Engineer/Branch Manager DoD
Legislative subcommittee member from CCPS to MABE. State Fine Arts Advisory Panel member. Involved as a parent through the my son’s time in CCPS.
Two previous terms on Board of Education.
Why are you running for office?
To provide opportunity for all children to receive a quality education. My son had a great experience in CCPS. I was involved as a parent and I would like to help parents and students succeed, and be the voice of the community on the Board.
Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
Not really a role model as we come from different backgrounds, but I admire Theodore Roosevelt. He overcame adversity, was a conservationist, and of course there was Bull Moose.
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
The Prince. A classic that still holds true today.
What is your favorite book about education, and why?
Why Johnny can’t read-and what you can do about it. Phonics and parental involvement are good!
What will be your top priority on the Board of Education?
Safety/Discipline and funding. These are necessary so students can gain the skills they need to enter college or the workforce.
What is the biggest issue facing your county schools?
Funding as our student population grows in numbers and needs. We have the second fastest growth rate in special education population. Our teachers currently have the lowest starting salary in southern Maryland. We need to attract and retain quality teachers.
What are the three biggest issues facing Maryland schools?
Discipline, funding, achieving high standards
Have you read your county schools curriculum? If so, which parts do you like and which parts do you dislike?
I like and appreciate the infusion of technology into the curriculum. Our CTE (career technology education) programs offer hands-on, real world training. Some parts of math under the “career and college readiness” (i.e. common core) umbrella need to change!
What is your position on school spending?
Money doesn’t solve problems. We do need to pay teachers a competitive salary so we attract and retain the best. Our per pupil spending is well under the state average. We actually need to spend more.
Please identify the three areas which you believe should be prioritized when it comes to school funding
Security, Teacher Pay, Teacher Training
What is your position on teacher tenure?
Tenure doesn’t prevent firing or disciplinary action. Experienced teachers are necessary for a quality school system.
What is your position on standardized testing?
Too much of it! Huge expense and benefits companies who make the tests. I am an advocate for local control where tests can be given to measure against benchmarks of our system not national standards that may not be relevant to our county. Teachers should not be held accountable to high stakes testing.
What is your position on classroom size?
I favor them. Data has shown that smaller class sizes are, in general, more effective. There is always a balance against fiscal constraints.
Do you believe the Board of Education should have taxation authority?