Smart Financial Decisions
Castro Valley is a wonderful community which is known for its great schools. In order to maintain the quality of our schools, we must invest in our students and ensure that they are being taught by the best and brightest. Unfortunately, our public schools are not adequately funded at the Federal and State levels. In addition, many surrounding school districts are funded by parcel taxes which enables them to better compensate teachers. During my first term, I served as the Board Liaison to the Castro Valley Educational Foundation and led the charge to establish the District’s Revenue Enhancement Committee to help identify innovative ways to help supplement funding for our local schools.
If re-elected, I will continue to ensure that the District works with the community, the Castro Valley Teachers Association (CVTA), the California School Employees Association (CSEA) and other stakeholders to find novel ways of funding. The COVID-19 crisis will greatly impact the future of education funding. Unless we work together, we may be forced to make difficult decisions that would impact our students, staff and parents. I will work with all parties to assess the many trade-offs CVUSD faces when evaluating the budget and ensure decisions are based on data and the needs of our students. Investing in our schools will continue to make Castro Valley an attractive community for families to live, furthering the economic vitality of the area.
Help Kids Succeed
Not every child has the same background or upbringing as their classmates. Not every kid will go on to a four year university, and some may not be ready to enroll immediately out of high school. As a school board, and as a community, we need to continue to support each student by providing building blocks to help them set and obtain their goals. It is critical that all students have access to a multi-tiered support system to identify what barriers they face and to help them reach their true potential. Students need a multi-tiered system of support where teachers collaborate to better help students, no matter where they are at on their unique learning journey. Currently, the District and our wonderful teachers have been implementing such a program, however some school sites continue to face unique challenges. I believe that the school board should continue to support teachers, students and parents regarding their unique challenges when developing this multi-tiered support system.
Transparency with the Community
I strongly believe that we are always better when we work together. I believe that some of our best ideas come from students, teachers and staff. Prior to being elected, it often seemed that administration, students, staff and the community did not share a seat at the table, which resulted in a culture of ‘us vs. them’. Since being elected, I feel that the District has made a number of welcomed changes, which have helped encourage better communication and transparency. Our students, parents and teachers must be engaged in the decision making process, not only when it comes to the budget, but for input on programs and innovative solutions to problems.
As a school board member, I believe that it matters how we share information, display data and coordinate with stakeholders. Information should be readily accessible to members of the public, teachers and staff. The school board must be completely transparent as to how we spend public funds. Since being elected, I have consistently requested that data be presented in a manner that clearly explains how we spend our funds. Moving forward, I will continue to ensure that the decisions and actions of the board include a seat at the table for all. This will help the board take into account diverse opinions which will be more effective and longer lasting.
Diversity and Inclusion for All
As our community continues to diversify, so do the needs of our students and staff. Since being elected, the District has better identified alternative ways to help students, their parents, and employees understand and appreciate the diversity that makes Castro Valley such a beautiful place to live. Many of our students and families struggle to access basic services and face tremendous hurdles, specifically, students of color, English as a second language learners, those with disabilities and those who are not afforded the same privileges as others.
The District’s Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) details how the District will address the needs of these underserved students. Since being elected, I have advocated for the LCAP to better address the disproportionate number of disciplinary actions against underrepresented students and provide much needed social and emotional supports. I’ve ensured that we’ve implemented these restorative justice practices to ensure that all truly means all within our classrooms. I’ve also led the way to update our dress code policies to not disproportionately single out girls and transgender and gender non-conforming youth.
More recently, I brought forward a resolution, which passed unanimously, to provide ethnic studies in high school and to develop a curriculum that includes marginalized groups which may otherwise have been excluded from our history books. This is an important step for all our students to ensure fair representation for students of color and those who are facing increasing discrimination in the current global climate. If re-elected, I will continue to support moving the needle on important policies which help create a more equitable space for all of our students, families and staff.