Building A Stronger Future For Our Children
Public education in California today is at a crossroads. In the past few years Sacramento has dramatically altered how it funds our local schools, and high performing districts like Las Virgenes have received the short end of the stick. In recent years we have witnessed neighboring schools receive thousands of dollars more per student per year while the state also shifted millions of dollars in unfunded retirement benefits onto our local budget. These are unprecedented times for school districts and yet, Las Virgenes has not only persevered, we have thrived. Our District remains one of the top 2% in the nation, our schools continue to receive national and state recognition for excellence and we continue to deliver incredible educational options for our students. Working together in the years ahead we can tackle the biggest issues facing our community, which include:
- Securing adequate funding: As your school board representative I have traveled to Sacramento and to Washington meeting with our state and federal leaders advocating for more local control and greater funding for our District. We worked to support a new Measure E in 2015 that has helped secure millions of locally controlled dollars for our schools and there is much more we can do. We also moved quickly to secure $1 million in new federal grant money for school safety programs this year alone. With a new Governor in 2018 will come new priorities in state funding. I will continue to fight for every available dollar for our students and teachers and I will continue to ensure we spend our funds wisely, supporting programs proven to drive educational excellence across the District.
- Supporting diverse educational programs: Our community values are clear - we do not just want good schools or even great schools. We believe our students deserve an exceptional educational environment, rich with highly competitive academics as well as a diversity of programs designed to challenge and engage the next generation of leaders we are developing. Together we have advanced innovative new technology programs, created leading edge robotics courses, funded a comprehensive dual immersion school program at Sumac, fostered one of the nation's few public Waldorf schools at Mariposa, leaned in to support early childhood learning through our Buttercup preschool program, embraced GATE and STEAM programs as well as the High School International Baccalaureate program all while also thinking differently about the future to invest in some of the most advanced and innovative career technical education pathway programs in the state. With your support I will continue to advocate for diverse programs that expand our student's understanding of the world and help to make them even more competitive while also ensuring we offer a unique pathway for every student learner.
- Focusing on our most at-risk students: As a community, we are truly blessed to live in the Las Virgenes School District. While demographically the majority of our students are also blessed to have wonderful parents and stable home environments strongly supportive of achieving educational excellence, I believe it is a key role of our District to ensure that no child be allowed to fall behind because of circumstances beyond their control. As your school board representative it has been, and will continue to be, one of my top priorities to close the achievement gap for our most at risk students. We have invested significantly in early intervention programs, parent education and an innovative new Freshman seminar for incoming high school students to help build pathways for every student to succeed. We have also taken a strong stand in our District of making the PSAT mandatory for all students. This may sound like a small tactical investment, but it signals a philosophy we have developed and deeply invested in - we believe it is the responsibility of our schools to support every child to achieve their fullest potential and to have clear and robust safety nets in place to identify struggling students and to offer every resource at our disposal to lift them up and set them on the course for success. This is also why we have some of the most innovative special education programs in the nation. Fighting for a quality education for every student has been a lifelong passion for me personally and I have been honored to add my voice to the strong chorus within our District advocating for the new kinds of programs, greater funding and deeper insights necessary to truly close the achievement gap and make an exceptional education achievable for all of our children.