Positions: Social Policy

SOCIAL POLICY

CHILD CARE

Support for Child Care.  Basic elements should include support for the well-being, development and safety of all children.  The programs should be well-managed, affordable, with trained and well-paid staff, with appropriate staff-to-child ratio, and with creative age-appropriate activities.

Support for:

1.      supervised programs for infants through middle school, including special needs children to a later age

2.      a full-time County Child Care Coordinator and Child Care Resource Center

3.      a representative, county-wide Child Care Advisory Board which would

        a.     work with the County Child-Care Coordinator,

        b.     develop and maintain delivery of quality Child Care services, and

        c.     ensure health and safety of all children in Child care.

4.      financing by a combination of public subsidy, business contributions, and parents’ ability to pay

5.      flexible, year-round programs

6.      dedicated space for child-care programs in the schools.

7.      publically supported, licensed and accredited child-care programs

8.      governmental encouragement of employers to provide on-site child-care through zoning, tax incentives and other means

9.      government’s setting of an example in its providing of quality child-care for its own employees

10.    government support for child care should include

       a.      purchase of Care (POC) subsidies.

       b.      locally funded Working Parents Assisted Programs

       c.      increased individual tax credits for child care and

       d.      training for child-care workers.  (2001)

EDUCATION

Support for:

1.      a strong program for teacher development; evaluation and promotion within the system; recruitment of experienced teachers from centers of recognized merit.

2.      teacher salary schedules which recognize experience and education with an incentive pay schedule for designated special teaching positions.

3.      a stipulated maximum class size, lower at the elementary level and increasing at higher levels.

4.      enrichment programs based on individual needs of students.

5.      early identification of and improved programs for all children with varied and/or special learning needs, with additional trained personnel as needed; such personnel not to be included in assigning district-wide pupil/teacher ratio.

6.      the community school concept, with community use of school facilities the entire year and which is coordinated, staffed, and funded by the County government.

7.      increased counseling service in schools, including elementary grades; training for mental health counselors. (1987)

8.      Year Round Education (YRE)

        a.      the implementation of a pilot plan in elementary and middle schools for YRE in Howard County.(1995)

        b.      the measurement of the change in academic performance in YRE as reflected by the Maryland School Assessment Tests.  (Note: members agree that assessment after a single year may lack substantial validity.) (1995)

        c.     YRE in Howard County if:

        i.    the school population exceeds     design capacity by 15% or

                 ii.    split shifts in schools become the alternative method of housing students. (1995)

9.       an elected Howard County Board of Education with at large election of its members. (1999)

        a.      Board members should have staggered terms (2001)

        b.      Board members should be residents of the County and registered voters at the time of their election. (2001)

HOUSING

Support for an adequate housing choice, in a suitable living environment, within the economic reach of all citizens [persons] of all ages.  Support for maintaining and increasing diverse housing types as well as increasing the number and percentage of affordable units in the county. (2005)

Support for:

1.      Residential Care facilities, with establishment of County  regulations governing their use, to protect the rights of the facilities’ residents and the community. (1970, 1971, 1985, 2005)

2.      Relocating low-income persons displaced by government action. (1968, 1985, 2005)

3.      Assistance in the relocation of low and moderate income persons involuntarily displaced. (2005)

4.    Zoning regulations which require a minimum percentage of affordable housing for persons of moderate income. (2005)

5.    A portion of new affordable housing to be reserved for Howard County public employees. (2005)

6.    Favorable tax treatment for the building and maintaining of affordable housing. (2005)

7.    Public and private partnerships to build and manage affordable housing facilities. (2005)

8.    Other measures to include county financing and construction of housing; public financial assistance to rehabilitate existing housing; rental housing. (2005)

TRANSPORTATION

Support for tax supported public transportation and for the encouragement of alternative to the use of the private automobile.  Support for the establishment of a Department of Transportation, a Transportation Authority or an Office of Transportation within the Executive Branch. (April 1995)

1.      Financing of public transportation in the county should be by these means:

       a.    federal funds (capital and operating);

        b.    state funds (capital and operating);

       c.    local funds (capital and operating);

       d.    private funds;

        e.    non-profit user fees and fares;

        f.    grants;

        g.   special taxing districts where all residents are taxed, but heavy-user districts are taxed more than non or lower-user districts;

h.   public/private partnerships.

2.      The following factors should drive the expansion of public transportation services in the county:

        a.    population density;

        b.    employment centers;

        c.    coordination with existing transportation service systems

        d.    medical centers;

        e.    senior centers;

        f.    shopping areas;

        g.    educational facilities;

        h.    government centers;

        i.    religious facilities;

        j.    cultural and community events;

        k.    libraries.

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