2018 Primary election results

William Feuer

William Feuer
  • Non-Partisan
  • Age: 37
  • Residence: Dundalk

About William Feuer

Education

Graduate of Parkville High School Magnet Program 1999 Associates Degree from Community College of Baltimore County

Background

Baltimore County Department of Aging Tax Advisor, H & R Block

    Questionnaire

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    1
    Why
    Why do you want to serve on the county school board?
    Feuer: To bring more accountability, transparency, and fiscal responsibility to the Board’s decisions. Right now Baltimore County voters/citizens have a power given to them that they have not had before, the ability to hold the school system accountable. This is a time of incredible potential for change. This is the first time Baltimore County is electing a school board and they will be able to rein in wasteful spending, crumbling infrastructure, and fiscal inequality present in our county. The three main issues that concern me are Allocation, Investment, and Safety. Public education is like a three legged table upon which the school system foundation is built with the administration, the board, and the community holding equal importance to an effective school system. Removing any of those legs, or decreasing their importance makes the foundation topple. Right now we have an administration which directs the board, and seeks no community input at all. By electing me to the School Board I will work to change that providing more Community involvement, Oversight, Accountability, and Transparency. The Administration, the Board, and the community need to all work together for the benefit of the kids. It is vitally important for each to provide checks and balances on the others.
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    2
    Technology
    Has the county’s use of educational technology in the classroom been appropriate? Do you support the system’s expenditures for student laptops?
    Feuer: The STAT initiative is clouded with controversy. While technology is an integral part of the education process STAT is coming at the cost of adequate resources for our children. Do kids from 1st-12th grade use technology in the same way? Why would we use a one size fits all approach? Other school districts have integrated technology far more efficiently. We need to weigh the cost of the other projects that have money allocated away from them like facilities and support services. The recently approved contract is not one I would support in the fashion it arrived. In comparison to the technology that is available I feel BCPS overpaid for the devices they contracted for. The money saved going with a cheaper alternative would be very helpful in the school infrastructure category.
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    3
    Resource equity
    Are the system’s resources fairly and equitably divided among its schools? Does the system provide adequate support for students with large populations of minority or low-income students?
    Feuer: I want people to be proud of Dundalk, Essex, Edgemere, and Rosedale just like I am. I have consistently seen the neglect Towson has for the East side of the county and want to advocate for equality. Our facilities need attention, we have inadequate school buildings and overcrowded classrooms. We do not have the other support in addition to teachers, like social workers, pupil personnel workers, and counselors.
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    4
    Oversight
    What additional steps, if any, need to be taken to ensure that the board exercises adequate oversight over the superintendent? Do you see a distinction between the disclosure failures that led to former superintendent Dallas Dance’s guilty pleas and those that interim Superintendent Verletta White has admitted to?
    Feuer: Public education is like a three legged table upon which the school system foundation is built with the administration, the board, and the community holding equal importance to an effective school system. Removing any of those legs, or decreasing their importance makes the foundation topple. Right now we have an administration which directs the board, and seeks no community input at all. By electing me to the School Board I will work to change that providing more Community involvement, Oversight, Accountability, and Transparency. The Administration, the Board, and the community need to all work together for the benefit of the kids. It is vitally important for each to provide checks and balances on the others. Contracts should be fully investigated and properly vetted by the board. The current way that the board has done things has led the board to lose the support of community and trust of those they are called on to represent. Transparency is one of my core tenants, the process for bidding needs to be completely open to scrutiny and not hidden from the public. An independent audit is needed to start to help restore confidence in the system. We need to be made completely aware of where our money is going. The school system is funded by the taxes that we pay. We have every right to expect that our tax dollars are being spent effectively and not being decided behind closed doors.
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    5
    Ethics
    Are the system’s rules on ethics, conflicts of interest and financial disclosure sufficient?
    Feuer: The rules for ethics, conflicts of interest, and financial disclosure are easily located on the BCPS website. In addition there is an Ethics Department that can be contacted for clarification.
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    6
    Discipline
    Do you think the school system's discipline policies keep students safe while appropriately disciplining students who exhibit poor behavior? What, if any, changes would you propose to the school system's discipline policies?
    Feuer: We need to give teachers and principals enough latitude to address problems but we need to have a clear consistent across the board policy for addressing behavior. We need to make every effort to keep kids in classrooms and learning but there comes a point where to be fair to the rest of the students we have to remove that child. Some children are going to need more resources than the standard comprehensive classroom can offer. Decreasing class sizes is proven to decrease behavioral problems. Teachers can interact more with students and get to know them as individuals. These interactions paired with support services, from pupil personnel workers and social workers, will contribute greatly to identifying and handling behavioral issues.
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    7
    Common Core/PARCC
    What are your views on the Common Core and the PARCC exams?
    Feuer: Speaking with many educators in various schools and at all levels I agree that the Common Core standards and the PARCC exams are divesting children of the proper teaching they need. I agree with Delegate Miele who says, “PARCC is a failed standardized test…there is no correlation to SAT’s”. We need to allow teachers to reach the students in their classroom. Each and every student is a unique individual, we need to allow teachers to engage the students in the most productive way that they can, not be forced to trek to computer labs and spend inordinate amounts of time testing.
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    8
    Diversity
    Should diversity be a factor in decisions about drawing new school attendance zone lines?
    Feuer: School boundaries should be drawn to take multiple things into consideration such as keeping cohorts together, increasing economic diversity, and the importance of walking to school. Using economic diversity as a factor creates rich diverse classrooms where students can learn and push each other. It enables them to interact and collaborate with kids from all walks of life.
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    9
    School construction
    How would you set priorities for school construction and renovation? Has the county devoted adequate resources to maintaining or replacing school buildings?
    Feuer: I first got involved with schools when I found out about the insufficient renovations to Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts. I heard they were actually taking away classroom space and using trailers as permanent classrooms. Trailers – relocatables – learning cottages- no matter how you dress it up, are not permanent solutions. Overcrowding is an issue here on the east side, all three of our area high schools are over their state rated capacity. Dundalk is 110%, Patapsco is 111%, and Sparrows Point is 110%. As a school system we spend money every year to have a physical facilities rating of every school in the county. Logic says that you would go to the worst school in the report and work backwards-addressing those worst schools because they need the most attention. Unfortunately we do not do it that way in Baltimore County and that needs to change. By reining in wasteful spending we can dedicate the resources necessary to ensure our children have adequate facilities for instruction.
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