The next Tomás Edison Gonzalez and Ellen Ochoa (1st Latina astronaut) are now in our classroom. Working together, as hard as it takes, we will provide the opportunity for our children to learn, believe, and achieve!
What do you think are the top three issues affecting our children and families and how do you propose to address them?
1) Increasing availability of early childhood education 2) Increasing access to and encouraging parent involvement in schools 3) Maintaining music, performing arts, and after-school sports programs I support increasing the amount of early childhood education programs, to thereby increase the availability of such programs. Success in school starts well before children enter kindergarten. Parent involvement in schools is a critical factor in the success of a school. We need to become more welcoming and creative in encouraging parent involvement. I strongly support increasing the dollars allocated to art, music, after-school sports.
How will the priorities you addressed in the first question be reflected in the way that you approach the budget process?
The creation of the school budget is a reflection of the priorities of that school district. My priorities listed above will also be reflected in my advocacy for the annual school budget, meaning that I will raise my voice, and be insistent if necessary, to question each administrative recommendation that goes into the formation of the annual 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?
School districts have some flexibility with State funds to address the local issues that parents feel are important for their children and their schools. I will work with parents to assist in articulating their needs and desires for their school, to be reflected in the final budgeting process, and particularly in the Local Control Accountability Plan process.
What steps will you take to improve inclusion and outcomes for children with special needs or with disabilities?
I will insist on a regular report from school district administration regarding the programming provided to our children with special needs, so that such issues are not put on the back burner by default.
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?
We can affect a change in the opportunity gap by providing more opportunities to our schoolchildren. Yes, it's that direct and simple of a mindset. Being creative includes providing breakfast and after-school programs such as athletics and homework centers.