I am concerned about the long term success and stability of our community schools. These community schools operate on and through numerous broken processes. As a local tech professional identifying, fixing, and then optimizing processes is what I do.
The 2019 fall redistricting process is still dominating conversations among community members. What other issues are you going to bring to light as a school board member, and how will you get them the attention they deserve?
The most important things that I will put on, or keep on, the agenda is the Opportunity Gap in Education Outcomes, School Discipline Gap, and mental health supports. Mental health needs supported both in funding and by policy, especially for LGBTQ students, educators, and staff.
Howard Schools Superintendent Michael Martirano has long been “ringing the bell” about eliminating the health fund deficit. He has proposed to fully eliminate the deficit by fiscal 2022 through school system savings and county funding. Are you in favor of Mr. Martirano’s plan, and why or why not? Do you think the plan should be more aggressive or less?
One of the reasons for the health fund deficit can be traced directly to past actions taken by my opponent as a Board of Education member. I will leverage budget specialists to ensure that the health fund is solvent and will remain solvent. The plan should address the deficit as aggressively as possible without compromising the safety or academic success of the student body.
In Mr. Martirano’s proposal fiscal 2021 operating budget, he is looking to address the special education staffing crisis by hiring more than 200 additional staff members in the next year. Is the best avenue to address the staffing crisis, and why or why not? What, if any, additional support programs should also be introduced?
The status quo is the result of both under staffing and under qualified hiring. Yes, hiring the additional staff is required. Additionally those hired need to be sufficiently qualified and the employed student aides should be further trained.
Mr. Martirano’s contract ends in June 2022. At this point in time, would you be in favor of renewing his contract? Why or why not?
At this point I have not encountered any disqualifying decisions. I will seek feedback from members of the current Board, the principals, community leaders, and PTAs. Additionally I will review comparisons with similarly sized and resourced school districts to ensure that the compensation being paid by HCPSS is reasonable in the event of a contract renewal.