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
“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.