The Washington Post

Gansler rolls out an eyeglasses proposal in the first in series of campaign Web videos

Maryland gubernatorial hopeful Douglas F. Gansler on Monday debuted the first in a series of Web videos on issues he is pushing in his campaign, this one on a new proposal to help disadvantaged students get eyeglasses.

Gansler, the state’s attorney general, said the proposal is part of a larger effort to combat a persistent minority achievement gap in Maryland’s public schools, which are generally regarded as among the best in the country.

“That’s morally wrong, and we’re going to do something to fix it,” Gansler says in the “Front and Center” video, in which he appears alongside his running mate, Del. Jolene Ivey (D-Prince George’s) in a school library.

Under Gansler’s plan, the state would increase school-based vision screenings and then follow through with delivery of glasses to schools, using a combination of Medicaid, foundation and private-sector funding to cover the costs for students whose families can’t afford them.

“One of the ideas that we have is to make sure that children can actually read,” Gansler says in the video. “If you can’t see the blackboard or a smart board or you can’t read a book, then you are going to fall farther and farther behind.”

Gansler has sought to portray himself as the candidate of ideas in a competitive 2014 Democratic primary in which he faces Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) and Del. Heather R. Mizeur (D-Montgomery).

Prior to officially launching his campaign in September, Gansler started holding a series of appearances around the state in which he has shared other policy proposals.

Those have included incentives to encourage in-state manufacturing, steps to ease the transition of prisoners back into society, and ways to make state government more “transparent” to citizens.

John Wagner is a political reporter covering the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

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