Op-Ed by: Campaign for Johnny Olszewski, Jr.
BALTIMORE, MD — Baltimore County Executive candidate and former Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) teacher Johnny Olszewski, Jr. has made education policy the top priority of his campaign, having called for universal voluntary pre-K, better school infrastructure, and expanding access to school meals and free community college. Today, in a process that was mired in a clear conflict of interest, the Teachers Association of Baltimore County (TABCO) declined to endorse their former member’s candidacy in a razor thin vote.
Over the past two election cycles, Friends of Vicki Almond paid nearly $60,000 to the Beytin Agency — a consulting firm owned by the family of Abby Beytin, TABCO’s President. Mrs. Beytin has also donated nearly $300 personally to the Councilwoman in the last two years. Mrs. Beytin chose not to disclose any of this information to TABCO or its members during the endorsement process. Furthermore, she actively participated in and helped lead the organization’s endorsement process, despite a longstanding relationship with Councilwoman Almond.
“I am proud to be the education candidate in the race for Baltimore County Executive. My background as a Baltimore County Public Schools teacher reflects my commitment to our public education system and as Executive I will put students, parents and teachers first,” said Johnny Olszewski, Jr. “Nothing can change that.”
“Johnny believes in putting our kids and families first and has a track record of supporting public education,” said Sandie Skordalos, a TABCO member and 30-year public school veteran who taught alongside Johnny O at Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts. “TABCO should have endorsed Johnny: he has been in our shoes. He experienced challenges with us in the classroom. He can win this race and we need him as Executive.”
Olszewski is a former BCPS teacher and TABCO member who also attended BCPS K – 12 and served as a member of the county’s school board. After being the first in his family to graduate from college, he returned home to teach in Baltimore County’s public schools. As Delegate, Olszewski championed progressive education policies: making the Baltimore County School Board more accountable and enhancing educational opportunities for all students. In December of 2017, Olszewski received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland: Baltimore County.
In the last nine months, Team Olszewski has been “far and away the most active…on the campaign trail.” Olszewski has racked up endorsements from prominent elected officials across the state, activist clubs, and labor unions while directly contacting more than 50,000 voters across the county from Rocky Point to Randallstown.
Olszewski, who served nine years in the Maryland General Assembly representing his hometown in District 6, resides in Dundalk with his wife Marisa and 2-year old daughter Daria. He began his professional career teaching at Patapsco High School prior to becoming a resource teacher for all of Baltimore County Public Schools.