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Dear Friends,

Twenty-six days until November 3! Check out this campaign video made by volunteers Michael and Jaime.

There is time until October 20 to apply for your mail-in ballot. See link below. If you are planning to vote in person, please have a plan about where you will go and be ready to wait.

We need your help:
Thank you for your support. Let's go win this for our kids!


October 8 Campaign Newsletter: Thursday Night Chat on School Reopening

With all the talk about reopening of school buildings, for the Thursday Night Chat on October 8, we will be discussing school reopening with:
  • Eric Luedtke, Maryland General Assembly Majority Leader
  • Hans Riemer, Montgomery County Councilmember
  • Zakiya Sankara-Jabar, Racial Justice Now
  • Sally Murek, SEIU Local500 and MoCoWoMen
  • Kerrin Torres-Meriwether, teacher, parent, PTA president, and member of MCEA's impact bargaining team
  • Jessica Urbantke, teacher and parent, and
  • Jose Contreras, Gaithersburg parent
You can join us and ask questions on the Sunil for School Board Facebook page.  If you are not Facebook, we will post the video to the campaign YouTube Channel.

MCPS and the Board of Education should be planning furiously for when public health officials give the green light. While PPE availability and protocols for temperature checks, testing, tracing, and substitution are relatively straightforward, MCPS will need to find the resources to take effective measures. Right now, not all MCPS schools have a nurse of their own who can take control of the preventive health measures. It is unclear how many MCPS buildings have been thoroughly evaluated to see if the ventilation systems make classrooms safe at this time. 

Planning must also take into account the individual preferences of families, students, teachers, and staff. I am urging MCPS to use the employee and student dashboards to ask each family and staff member to identify their preferred conditions of return and give every respondent thereafter the ability to change their mind as many times as they want. This will give the school system an evolving data picture to drive decisions about which students should return first. Previous surveys to gauge preferences have been faulty, with some filling out the survey multiple times and many zip codes without any respondents.

The Black and Brown Coalition for Educational Equity and Excellence wants to see learning hubs prior to full return to buildings and a voluntary system can enable MCPS to gradually expand the number of students and staff that return.

All of this is dependent on buildings being safe or on identification of safe alternative locations. Read more on reopening in this op-ed I wrote in Maryland Matters.

We could be reimagining so much. Lower class size, more outdoor education, perhaps garden classrooms, students taking courses outside their home schools, teachers able to collaborate across schools, vibrant student journalism in every middle and high school, climate change action with solar roofs and electric buses, a reading program that emphasized advanced phonics and phonemic awareness, and above all a revitalized home and school partnership.

Have other questions? Check out and send Sunil an email.

Why Sunil?

MCPS needs leaders who bring vision, creativity, academic management experience, and stakeholder partnerships as it tries to meet some big challenges in the months and years ahead.

I have developed
clear, realistic, and achievable plans on very difficult issues such as the boundary study, mental health support for students and staff, capital spending, climate change action, special education, and re-opening schools, and from the first day on the job, I will be there to support your students, your teachers, your staff, your school administrators, and you.

Reassert the BOE's leadership role: I am the only candidate who has spent 20 years in the classroom and over a decade in academic planning and management and have taught online for seven years. I can and will work with other Board members and use my academic background to engage with MCPS staff to make clear, data-driven, and transparent decisions that renew and strengthen public education in the county.

Be that independent voice: The system needs to be challenged in constructive ways and I know how to transform without disrupting. From equity and academic performance to student welfare and labor relations, I am and will be an independent voice on behalf of students and families, and it is my hope to continue to build and engage a coalition that includes all parts of Montgomery County.

Ensure teachers and staff have the support they need to continue to educate our children: We need to make better use of our educators, teachers, and staff. I will push to reestablish collaborative decision-making that worked well for MCPS in past years. On key questions like how to fix distance learning, I know what needs to be done because I have spent years teaching online. This is why I have been endorsed with the Apple Ballot by the Montgomery County Education Association (the county teacher’s union), SEIU Local 500 (our support staff union), and the MCPS Retirees Association.

Bring diversity of thought and experience: As a first-generation immigrant, I will bring to the Board my experience managing diversity and overcoming discrimination. One-third of the county's population is foreign-born, and while our Student Members of the Board have been wonderfully diverse, we have elected just one Asian-American non-student member in the BOE's nearly 140-year history. If elected, I will be the second. Further, I represent a broad coalition of supporters from Takoma Park to Poolesville and from Bethesda to Germantown and I have been endorsed by CASA in Action, Maryland’s largest Latinx advocacy group, and Progressive Maryland, which has been one of the biggest defenders of equity in our state.

How You Can Help

Make a Campaign Contribution: We need new yard signs and money for campaign advertising to reach tens of thousands of homes. I depend on individual contributions from supporters like you. Please consider a donation.

Ask for an Mail-in Ballot through 10/20: The official form asks for personal information and you will need to have your driver’s license in hand. If you need help filling in the ballot request, please email us and we will set up a time to help you.

Make a 30-second video about why you chose to support me: Video is how we communicate these days and it is great for potential supporters to watch your endorsement of me. All you need is to shoot yourself talking to the camera. The video can be as short as 15 seconds or as long as 1 minute. Once you're ready, email it to me.

Invite your friends to a zoom call: It is easy. We do all the back-end work. You send out the invitations and we can even write text you can use. Please email us.

Volunteer your time/special skills: We need help with graphic design, photo/video, photo/video editing, or volunteer tracking, phone-banking, please sign up.

Display a yard sign: Ask for a sign if you need one or want a new one.
Useful Resources
Recursos en español
Sunil is endorsed by:
  • Montgomery County Education Association (the county teacher's union). Yes, the Apple Ballot.
  • SEIU500 Local (representing MCPS staff)
  • MCPS Retirees Association
  • CASA in Action
  • Progressive Maryland
  • The Coalition of Asian Pacific Democrats of Maryland (CAPAD-MD)
  • Takoma Park Mobilization
  • Progressive Neighbors
  • YIMBY MoCo
  • Fair Access for Western Montgomery
  • United We Dream Action
  • Jud Ashman, Mayor of Gaithersburg
  • Sidney Katz, Montgomery County Council President
  • Eric Luedtke, Maryland House Majority Leader
  • Aruna Miller, Former Delegate, Maryland General Assembly
  • Mark Pierzchala, Rockville City Council Member
  • Hans Riemer, Montgomery County Councilmember
  • Jeffrey Slavin, Somerset Mayor
  • Susan Turnbull, Former Maryland Lt. Governor candidate

Sunil Dasgupta, Ph.D (he/him/his)
Candidate for Montgomery County Board of Education At-Large
Twitter: @sunildasgupta4
Facebook: @SunilforSchoolBoard Instagram: @sunildasgupta4
Email: Phone: 240-554-5923
Authority: Friends 4 Sunil Dasgupta
Treasurer: Crystal Calarusse
Copyright © 2020 Friends 4 Sunil Dasgupta, All rights reserved.

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