January 22, 2014

Gazette.Net: King ready to continue work on education in next term

Senator is focused on eliminating MSA, creating universal pre-kindergarten

A passion for serving her community and dedication to improving education has led Sen. Nancy J. King to seek another term in the Maryland Senate as the District 39 representative.

“I love what I do, and I love being able to help the people that live in my area,” she said. “The position allows me to cut a lot of red tape and help people with issues that they have.”

The Montgomery Village Democrat, 64, was first elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 2002. She was appointed by Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) in September 2007 to fill Sen. Patrick J. Hogan’s seat in the state Senate after he announced his retirement. King successfully ran for election to the post in 2010.

Before King began tackling education policy in the General Assembly, she gained extensive experience in the county school system.

King was the president of the Montgomery County Council of Parent-Teacher Associations in 1993. The following year, she was elected to the Montgomery County Board of Education to represent District 1 and eventually served two years as president. King was a member of the school board until 2002, when she was elected to the House of Delegates.

Even though this year’s legislative session has only just started, King already has her hands full.

One the first day of the session, King submitted an emergency bill to direct the Maryland State Department of Education to apply for a wavier from the federal government so schools can bypass the Maryland School Assessment this year. Teachers, parents and others, according to King, are concerned that the test does not align with schools’ curriculums — which are based on the Common Core standards — and will waste instructional time and won’t benefit the students.

“Since articles have come out about it, I’ve received so many thank-you letters from parents and educators,” she said.

The senator is also working with O’Malley on a bill that would create universal pre-kindergarten.

“Early childhood stuff is really a major interest of mine,” she said.

She and the rest of her District 39 delegation — Dels. Charles Barkley (D) of Germantown, Kirill Reznik (D) of Germantown and Shane Robinson (D) of Montgomery Village — have formed a slate for the 2014 election.

“We all get along really well and we work well off each other since we represent different areas,” she said. “We really cover a lot of issues.”

Xiangfei Cheng, a Republican from Montgomery Village, is the only challenger who has filed to run as of Monday.

District 39 includes Clarksburg, Germantown and Montgomery Village. It recently underwent state legislative redistricting that is set to take effect in January 2015.

As of late December, King said she had raised about $85,000 and was content with that amount. The slate spent the second half of 2013 knocking on the doors of new constituents in Clarksburg and Germantown and introducing themselves, she said.

King is married and has three daughters.

The primary election is June 24 and the general election will be Nov. 4.