Name: Jason Maur
Political party: Democrat
Running for: Board of Education
Why are you running?
Having grown up here in Monroe, CT, I was provided with many opportunities. Those opportunities began with a quality education. Along with the loving support of my family, my Monroe education helped me achieve the rank of Eagle Scout; my Monroe education sent me to the top research university in the country, Johns Hopkins University, where I double majored in Political Science and Psychology, concentrating my studies on Education Theory and Policies; my Monroe education helped me gain employment with Senator Dodd, for whom I researched and drafted local and National Education Policy; my Monroe education sent me to the Quinnipiac University School of Law, where my studies included Education Law, Contract Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Negotiations, among other topics; my Monroe education helped me achieve my lifelong goal of becoming an Attorney, sworn into the CT State Bar November 1, 2010; and, most importantly, my Monroe education shaped me into a concerned citizen who wants to give back to the system that gave so much to me.
I once served as Student Representative to this Board of Education. Now, I'm asking you to give me the chance to serve each and every one of you as a Board Member. I remember growing up in a community where all of us (students, parents, seniors, everyone) came together for Movie Nights at the Masuk Pool.
I remember when the education we gave students in this town was a priority, not just a necessity; when students were pushed to learn and thrive in all aspects of their lives, be it academic, athletic, artistic, technical, or humanitarian. Help me reinvigorate and rebuild this town on the cornerstone of Education. Vote Jason Maur for Board of Education.
What are the three biggest issues facing Monroe?
Monroe needs a clear vision for the future. In order to gain that there are three major issues we need to take care of:
First, we must revitalize our sense of community. I remember growing up when town members from all social groups, age groups, quite simply put, everyone, came together for town movie nights, festivals, and fairs. We all supported each other and the town, including but not limited to our businesses and our education. It is time we come together once again to help our town reach its potential.
Second, we need to lower the tax burden on our citizens. This is a hard process, but it begins with investing in our education system. Monroe needs to draw people to come live here and stay here. In order to do that, we need a strong education system. The more people we have living here, the more the tax burden gets divided among the townspeople. Further, if we have a higher population, it will also help us draw businesses to our town, creating revenue and further decreasing the tax burden on the individual.
Third, we need strong, revitalized leadership in this town. For too long we have been allowing our leaders to simply rubber stamp decisions in this town without proper research or outreach to the people of Monroe. Time for our leaders to actively seek to inform our citizens, get their opinions, and truly represent the people they were elected to speak for.
What can the Board of Education do to keep the town in the right direction?
Monroe needs to rebuild itself on a cornerstone of Education. The Board of Education can ensure not only that our students receive quality schools, teachers, and administrators, but can also develop a system that draws people to our town and makes them want to stay here.
The Board needs to stop simply rubber stamping items yes or no. Instead, each and every member needs to reach out to the public, research the issues, and do what is best for our schools and the Town of Monroe.
What skills and attributes make you a good fit for the Board of Education?
I have been working towards becoming a member of the Board of Education since attending Masuk High School right here in Monroe. My Senior year I served as the Student Representative to the Board of Education. I then went on to study education policy and help to write and research education policy for Senator Dodd. From there I studied Education Law and started a law practice here in town.
I have extensive knowledge on educational development and policy, teacher and administrator contract negotiations, and of the history of this town and our school system. I have come full circle, and it is time to complete the loop by becoming a voting member of the Board of Education.
What do you think of the new Common Core Standards school districts are adopting?
I certainly believe it is important to ensure that all students receive a quality education that teaches each and every one of them the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in life, regardless of their location and school district.
That being said, we must continue to develop a method of accomplishing this and still allowing for gifted and talented students to progress and learn. We cannot always simply teach to the middle. We must also continue to push forward with STEM Education, the arts, extracurricular activities, and other forms of education that allow each and every student to grow individually while also guaranteeing that these students learn the basics and are ready to face whatever road lies ahead of them.