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Charter Board Partners

Maria Blaeuer: Education is a Civil Right

January 17, 2018 | by David Connerty-Marin

When she was in private practice as a legal advocate working with special education students, Maria Blaeuer, who is now board treasurer at Kingsman Academy PCS in Washington, DC, spent much of her professional time in an adversarial role with schools, advocating for the needs of her student clients. While she felt her work was important, she was also frustrated by her limited ability to help change the problems in the system that were at the root of the issue. 

“One of the hard things about doing individual advocacy and litigation is that you’re only fixing it for one kid. After 10 years, I saw that when I fixed it for one kid, there were 10 more kids just like him, right behind. I wanted to be part of a space where I could work on a system to serve all of those kids. That’s really why I joined the Kingsman board.”

In addition to a specific and relevant skill set and experience, Maria says the most important thing a board member brings to a school board is a “belief and understanding that all kids have a civil and human right to education.” And that belief makes the work both easier and more meaningful, she says. “Spreadsheets are boring, but spreadsheets in service of a human right are kind of amazing.”

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