Our students are my top priority. As a registered nurse, non-profit founder, parent, trustee and neighbor I am focused on improving the conditions of our education and quality of life for every family and every resident. I hope to continue my work as trustee and ask for your support.
What do you think are the top three issues affecting our children and families and how do you propose to address them?
The major issues are safety, affordability and sustainability. As County School Board Trustee I work to address these issues every day. If our students are not safe, they struggle to learn. If our families cannot afford to live in our community, they relocate upended students learning. If we do not address financial AND environmental sustainability, we will struggle to not only provide the services our children and families need, but we will provide them a future where each generation has been opportunities than the last.
How will the priorities you addressed in the first question be reflected in the way that you approach the budget process?
I believe that when it comes to the safety and education of our youth no sacrifice is too great, but every dollar spent must be spent responsibly and with accountability. Our safety is top priority and political or values differences should never impede upon our ability to ensure our communities are safe. We often forget that when we invest in services and our community the investments are returned. For every dollar we spend on early childhood education we save seven in services. I know we can provide to community with fiscal responsibility and on budget.
What steps will you take to address the high cost and lack of availability of quality child care and preschool programs in our communities, especially for low-income children and English language learners?
This has been a major priority for me as the current Trustee. Early child education programs give a boost to our youth that continues throughout their entire life. As noted above, every dollar is returned seven-fold when invested in early childhood education. However not every family is afforded to these options, and I continue to make low-income neighborhoods a priority for these services.
What steps will you take to improve inclusion and outcomes for children with special needs or with disabilities?
As a mother of a child with special needs, this is both a professional and personal issue. Because my son was afforded support for his learning needs, he was able to thrive and just began his first year of college. He is now away from home thriving in college classrooms and has a better future ahead because special education needs were made a priority by our school districts and leaders. I will fight for our children and see that each of them is included in education and afforded an equal opportunity for dignity.
Much of the student achievement gap has been linked to the "opportunity gap" that low-income children and children of color experience, including lack of access to healthy food, preschool, tutors and enrichment activities. If elected, what steps will you take to address this issue?
When I was first elected to the Morgan Hill Unified School District in 2010 we faced an opportunity gap not just for low-income and children of color, but a gap in the respect they were receiving in school as several Mexican-American students were a target of harassment by other students. We do best to close the achievement gap through respect and inclusion, if we are still fighting against hate and ignorance, we will never be able to lift up those in need.