MONTGOMERY, Ala. – A diverse, bipartisan coalition of Montgomery-area young professionals today endorsed four candidates for seats on the Montgomery County Board of Education as part of its effort to elect new leadership for Montgomery schools.
The candidate endorsements were made by the Expect More for Montgomery Public Schools Campaign. Expect More for MPS is a diverse, bipartisan movement focused on raising awareness across Montgomery County about the urgent need for new leadership on our Montgomery Public School Board. The campaign is supported by MGM NXT PAC, a new bipartisan political action committee organized earlier this year by area young professionals to support new leaders, new ideas and good government across Alabama.
The Expect More for Montgomery Public Schools campaign has bought online advertising, distributed proactive mail pieces, and organized other GOTV activities to encourage voters to elect new, strong leadership for area schools. To-date, Expect More for Montgomery Public Schools has raised more than $73,880 from 115 local donors. Several of the group’s donations have been in small amounts as little as $5.
“The Montgomery Public School board is broken,” said Brandon Taylor, the chair of Expect More for Montgomery Public Schools. “More of our schools are failing, our schools’ finances are in disarray, and our accreditation is at risk. On June 5, our community must support a clean slate of new leaders and fresh ideas in order to ensure that every MPS student has the opportunity to succeed in college or their career.”
In the June 5 school board primaries, Expect More for Montgomery Public Schools is endorsing:
District 2 Democratic Primary:
Clare Weil is a successful businesswoman and entrepreneur who has owned and operated numerous UPS stores in Montgomery and Prattville. As a business owner with several local employees, she sees first hand that many MPS graduates are not prepared for college and a career after high school. In response, she has volunteered time and resources from her stores to help students and teachers get what they need to improve student achievement. If elected, Ms. Weil will bring strong business and problem-solving skills to the school system.
District 2 Republican Primary:
Ted Lowry is a retired Air Force colonel whose primary role in the military was to turn around struggling organizations that were costing taxpayers millions of dollars. A former Commander at Gunter Air Force Base, Col. Lowry was part of the River Region team that saved Gunter from closure, protecting thousands of jobs across the area. Col. Lowry’s opponent in the primary is the self-proclaimed, hand-picked successor of the district’s current MPS board representative. The problems built up over the last few years demonstrate that the current board’s approach is not serving our students well.
District 5 Democratic Primary:
Carey Owens is a successful businessman and education advocate. He is currently the Central Alabama Program Coordinator for Emerge Community Solutions, where he mentors young men in underserved neighborhoods through various programs and initiatives. Mr. Owens is experienced in bringing together various stakeholders in support of innovative initiatives and will bring the same level of community engagement and involvement to the school board.
District 5 Republican Primary:
Jannah Bailey is the executive director of Child Protect Children’s Advocacy Center in Montgomery. In this capacity, she works with community partners to help young children through difficult situations. Mrs. Bailey understands that educating a child does not begin or end at the schoolhouse door, and her experience would bring to the Montgomery School Board new ideas for how to engage local families.
In addition, the Expect More for Montgomery Public Schools campaign is encouraging voters in the District 6 Democratic Primary to oppose current MPS Board Chair Robert Porterfield, and all incumbents or their handpicked successors. Dr. Lesa Keith, the current District 1 school board representative, is running unopposed in the Republican primary.
The Expect More for Montgomery Public Schools campaign selected candidates for endorsement based on voluntary responses to a confidential survey completed by the candidates or their campaigns, and other publicly available materials. All non-incumbent candidates were invited to complete the questionnaire.