Lo­bos wants to in­crease fis­cal re­spon­si­bil­ity



— Ron Lo­bos knows his views aren’t what peo­ple typ­i­cally ex­pect from school board can­di­dates – and he thinks that’s a good thing.

Lo­bos is run­ning for the Ce­cil County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion on the prom­ise that he’ll bring a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive to the five-mem­ber board and ad­vo­cate for the “av­er­age tax­payer,” who he feels isn’t cur­rently rep­re­sented.

As a fis­cal con­ser­va­tive who’s also against Com­mon Core, Lo­bos al­ways knew some of his views would be con­tro­ver­sial but even he’s been sur­prised by the amount of back­lash


he’s re­ceived.

“Peo­ple say I’m antied­u­ca­tion. I’m not antied­u­ca­tion, I’m pretty well ed­u­cated my­self,” Lo­bos said. “But I’m a fis­cal con­ser­va­tive and when (the schools) spend money I want to make sure they’re get­ting the most they can.”

Lo­bos, a real es­tate ap­praiser, will face off against Erin Do­or­dan and Jim Fazz­ino in the pri­mary for the District 2 seat, which largely cov­ers the north­ern Elk­ton area. The top two vote-getters in the non­par­ti­san April 26 pri­mary will move on to the gen­eral elec­tion in Novem­ber.

As a school board mem­ber, Lo­bos said he would fo­cus on how the schools can best pre­pare stu­dents for life af­ter grad­u­a­tion – a life that doesn’t of­ten in­volve grades and test scores. He’d like to see man­ners strongly en­forced in the schools, more op­por­tu­ni­ties for stu­dents to get out into the com­mu­nity for vol­un­teer work and hand­son learn­ing and even more sup­port for the Ce­cil County School of Tech­nol­ogy.

But it’s the school bud­get that Lo­bos has talked about most dur­ing his cam­paign. This year, County Ex­ec­u­tive Tari Moore gave CCPS main­te­nance of ef­fort fund­ing in her pro­posed bud­get and Lo­bos said he feels that was fair.

As a school board mem­ber, Lo­bos said he would al­ways stick to main- ten­ance of ef­for t fund­ing un­less the county’s econ­omy sig­nif­i­cantly im­proves.

“I’m not against the schools get­ting more money if we had that much more com­ing into the county,” he said.

Lo­bos does take is­sue with the over­all school fund­ing process, par­tic­u­larly Mary­land’s main­te­nance of ef­fort laws, which he calls “good for the schools and bad for the county.”

To be fair to the county, Lo­bos thinks the schools should do a bet­ter job of list­ing out non- re­cur­ring ex­penses so they’re not counted in main­te­nance of ef­fort. Lo­bos also thinks the schools should re- ex­am­ine the $ 44 mil­lion back­log of de­ferred main­te­nance, not­ing he doubts the sys­tem re­ally has that much de­ferred main­te­nance.

One area Lo­bos would like to see fund­ing in­creased though is for teacher salaries. Lo­bos, who was not en­dorsed by the Ce­cil County Class­room Teach­ers As­so­ci­a­tion, said many peo­ple don’t re­al­ize that, if he’s elected, the teach­ers and prin­ci­pals will end up lik­ing him the most.

“I’ll be push­ing to move more money out of the ad­min­is­tra­tion and into the teach­ing end of it,” Lo­bos said. “That’s the thing that I think they don’t re­al­ize be­cause the word goes out ‘ Oh, he’s an en­emy to the schools’ and I’m not. I’m ac­tu­ally an un­be­liev­ably strong friend to that end of it. It’s the ad­min­is­tra­tion that I ques­tion.”

Lo­bos, a grad­u­ate of Tow­son Univer­sity, op­er­ates Chris Lo­bos Ap­prais­ers with his wife, Chris­tine, in Elk­ton. He has one son, an Elk­ton High School grad­u­ate, and two step- daugh­ters as well as two grand­sons, one of whom will start pre- K at CCPS next year.


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