PORTSMOUTH – The Association of Portsmouth Taxpayers (APT) has endorsed Mary Olea for School Board in next week’s City-wide election, citing her unique world-experience, strong academic background, passion for serving Portsmouth residents, and “her interest in balancing a more fiscally responsible approach to Portsmouth’s education system with better results,” the latter being of particular concern to APT according to APT President Mark Brighton. Brighton stated:

“After careful consideration we feel Mary Olea deserves our vote. We urge Portsmouth residents to support her in next Tuesday’s election: Mary is committed to helping provide transparency and accountability on our City’s School Board.”
APT has expressed concerns with respect to the School Board’s budget. The organization wants to support candidates that will “help Portsmouth residents understand how our tax dollars are being spent: why the cost of education in Portsmouth keeps rising while our city’s students continue falling below state standards and how that disparity can be corrected” according to Brighton. The organization would like to see a reversal in each of those trends.
Brighton explained that the organization is making education one of its top priorities and that it will play an active role in coming weeks through the state’s “Right-to-Know” law in asking city officials to help clarify what is causing expenditures to go up while results continue to fall below acceptable standards.

APT is impressed with Olea: Brighton describes her candidacy as “a unique opportunity to help elect a candidate with unparalleled experience to the Portsmouth School Board.” Brighton explained APT members felt Olea’s breadth of experience in education, especially her work in higher education in diverse settings, could bring a fresh perspective and creative-thinking to Portsmouth’s School Board: “APT members feel Olea’s experience can bring some outside-the-box thinking to the process – which is what we need to move out of the idea that spending more money automatically translates into better results; the evidence is ample that this has not worked in Portsmouth.”

Olea is a professor of Russian and American literature and composition, as well as introduction to music at American Military University. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan and a Masters from Stanford University with additional graduate work from University of California, Georgetown University, and Cambridge University. During her time in California she served as a School Board Trustee.

APT is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to advocating for Portsmouth, New Hampshire’s community: its taxpayers and all residents. APT believes that tightly controlled spending is necessary – regardless of current economic conditions – to keep Portsmouth affordable, reduce waste, and deliver better value to its taxpayers.

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