Laveen Elementary School District
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1. Are you a precinct committeeman? If yes, for how long?
2. Tell us a bit about yourself. What made you run for school board?
LINDAforLAVEEN.com I am a 15 year resident of Laveen. I serve the community as: the community advocate that led successful efforts to get 3 new City parks in our area, Vice Chair of the Laveen Village Planning Committee, member of the Laveen district's self insurance Trust Board, weekly classroom volunteer and frequent PTA board member, church teacher and youth leader. I believe strongly in contributing to the community. My degree and first career were in elementary school teaching. For the last 13 years I have been working from home while raising my 3 sons (teaching preschool and working for a local behavioral health transportation company). I have learned in my community efforts how to effectively get things done, even against stiff opposition. I want to bring these skills and passion to our schools to make sure our children get the best education possible.
3. Do you support sexual education of children in the classroom? At what age do you believe this is appropriate, and do you believe that a parent should have the opportunity to opt out?
Parents should absolutely have the final say in their children’s sexual education. “Sexual education” can refer to a lot of different things, which is why one of my main priorities is having more transparency and communication. Families should have access to what is being considered for approval and/or taught in our district so that they can make the best choices for their children.
4. Do you support the idea of parents being the sole stakeholders in their children’s lives?
Not knowing exactly how you are defining “sole stakeholder”, I can say that I think parents are responsible for their children and how they are raised. Children can also benefit from a wide support network of extended family and trusted people from their community (church, school, etc.).
5. What is your position on critical race theory, social-emotional learning, LGBTQ inclusion, and equity issues in the classroom? What do you know of Bloom365 and Corwin Press and what are your opinions?
I do not know the details of those two programs, but this goes back to my stance that decisions and discussions regarding these issues need to be done in the light. School Boards are required to have public meetings because this information is supposed to be public. As a member of Laveen’s school board, I would prioritize making this information accessible so that no matter how the program is labeled, parents can evaluate it for themselves.
6. Based on the limitations and powers of a school board member, what’s your platform?
I am committed to being a school board member who researches the issues, thinks critically, invites a variety of voices to the table, and considers all points of view so that the diverse needs of our children can be met. I will not make decisions lightly nor based on political pressure. I bring to the table the perspective of a Laveen mom, teacher, and involved neighbor. Our children, community, and teachers will be my priority.
7. What do you believe to be the biggest issue impacting K-12 students in Arizona?
As a statewide problem, probably staffing. No matter how many great programs we come up with to address the needs of our students, when we can’t find qualified people to staff them, they can’t be successful.
8. How do you think the state should support public education? Do you believe in expanding school vouchers?
Arizona needs to remove/amend the state spending cap so that the approved budget dollars for schools can be spent (and I would make sure that money is directed into classrooms). Everyone benefits when our society provides a good education. Arizona should provide competitive teacher and support staff compensation, safe facilities, and the programs necessary to meet the diverse needs of our children. I believe in families being able to choose what is best for their children and support legislation that enables those choices (provided it includes sufficient public school funding).
9. Do you have a plan to fund renovations of schools in your area that are run down?
Laveen is fortunate to have updated schools and a community that consistently votes in favor of district bond funds. One of our challenges in Laveen is securing land for the new buildings needed during this time of explosive growth. In my role as Vice Chair of the Laveen Village Planning Committee, I already work with District and City staff/officials as well as developers to advocate for and secure the land we need.
10. Do you have a plan to address the shortage of teachers?
This nationwide problem is a significant struggle. Even so, last year Laveen retained 80% of its teachers. As a Governing Board member I would promote maintaining and expanding policies that create a positive work environment for our staff and competitive compensation so that we can retain and recruit the best teachers and support staff for our district.
11. Do you support allowing retired military or police officers, who pass background checks, to work or volunteer in our schools to prevent mass shootings?
I love that our community wants to protect our children! Safety is my first priority and it would be great to explore innovative ways to make sure our children make it home safely every day.
12. Please feel free to add any additional information you would like voters to know about your candidacy.
Your concerns are my concerns. My kids go to school with your kids; I live down the street from their school; I've taught in their classrooms. I have 6 years of involvement working for responsible development in Laveen, including schools, and have SUCCESSFULLY led efforts to get 3 new parks added in the area. If you want a school board member with a vested interest in our children's education, who will research and listen to a variety of perspectives, and who is dedicated to serving the community, you can confidently vote for me for the Laveen Elementary School District Governing Board. Learn more about/contact me at LINDAforLAVEEN.com, on Facebook at Linda for Laveen, or at email@example.com.