Osborn 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?
My name is Leanne Greenberg and I am an educator in the Phoenix Elementary School District. I have worked in special education for most of my career and know the power that strong, experienced teachers and school staff can have on our students. I was the President of the Phoenix Elementary Classroom Teachers Association for two years and during that time I worked closely with our school board to make the district a better place to work and a great place for kids to learn. I know the power that having other teachers on our school boards can bring for our educators, so I decided to run for our local school board to elevate the voices of all educators, including teachers, bus drives, paraprofessionals, cafeteria staff, social workers and more.
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?
Yes, I believe that we should start teaching students about their bodies, what safe touch is, and what healthy relationships are from an early age. I believe that giving students this basic information empowers them to identify abuse. As students get older, there should be education on their changing bodies and information on safe sex and where to go when they have questions or need help. While I do not think it is best for parents to opt out of sexual education, I would be okay with this option if my district community pushed for it and if it meant that a majority of students would still receive sexual education.
4. Do you support the idea of parents being the sole stakeholders in their children’s lives?
I believe that parents are often the people that know their children best, but when it comes to education, I believe that it should be a team decision to help ensure that kids receive the best supports and services that they need to be successful.
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 believe that schools should be a safe, comfortable place for all students. A well-rounded education includes education in all of these areas. Our job as educators isn't to tell students what or how to think, but to give them a variety of resources and knowledge to help them do their own critical thinking. I have personally read books from Corwin Press and have found their resources to be a valuable part of my own teaching practice. I am not as familiar with Bloom365, but would be interested in learning more and like the message that they are providing for kids and their families.
6. Based on the limitations and powers of a school board member, what’s your platform?
I want to elevate the voices of all educators in our schools, including our teachers, bus drivers, instructional assistants, school psychologists, etc. When all educators are part of the decision making, we can make better, more educated decisions that will positively have an impact on our students. I want to create community schools that provide resources for our families and are a place of learning for not just kids, but parents, too. As a special education teacher, I know the value of inclusion, so I want to work to ensure that all of our students with special needs have a high-quality teacher, opportunities for inclusion, and access to any services that they may need to gain the skills that they need to lead fulfilling lives.
7. What do you believe to be the biggest issue impacting K-12 students in Arizona?
There are so many issues, but I think the number one issue in Arizona is the lack of funding. Without adequate funding, we can't recruit and retain high-quality educators, we can't provide up-to-date curriculum, make building repairs, provide enrichment activities, and more. Fully funding education would put Arizona ahead of other states and would allow us the resources to provide what our students need. Without adequate funding, it will be difficult to address the wide variety of issues that our public schools are currently facing.
8. How do you think the state should support public education? Do you believe in expanding school vouchers?
We need to fully fund public education and put in more accountability measures for charter schools and homeschools. I do not believe in the expansion of school vouchers and know that this further drains money from our public schools. A majority of our students attend public schools and there is accountability measures for how that money is spent in our school districts. By diverting our money into private hands, we eliminate any accountability of taxpayer dollars and lessen the opportunities that our public schools can provide by further draining their budgets.
9. Do you have a plan to fund renovations of schools in your area that are run down?
I am working to pass overrides to make sure that our schools have additional funding to make necessary repairs. This is one step to work towards fixing up our schools, but we have to push our Legislature to fully fund schools, so that we don't need to pass overrides to do these necessary repairs.
10. Do you have a plan to address the shortage of teachers?
Increase funding for public education, ensure that those dollars make it into staff paychecks, and create school environments where educators are respected and valued. When educators are paid well and given respect, we will be able to recruit and retain high-quality educators.
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 do not support adding SROs or military to our schools, but do think that security officers in our schools that are a part of the school community can be a benefit for both educators and students. I do believe that we have a serious problem and that our schools need clear safety plans. As a Board member, it will be a priority to go through our district's safety plans and ensure that they are up-to-date and in line with making sure that both our students and staff are safe on our campuses.
12. Please feel free to add any additional information you would like voters to know about your candidacy.
I have nine years of experience in public education. I have worked as a special education teacher, an instructional coach, a union organizer, and as a behavior intervention specialist. Each of these roles has taught me something new about education and has led me to run for the Osborn School Board. I believe that I have a unique skill set that I can bring to the district that will make it a better place for staff and students and that my experience as an educator is invaluable to elevating our educator's voices to be a part of the decision making in the district. I am a product of public schools and have Bachelor's and Master's degree in Special Education from Michigan State University and a Master's in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of Cincinnati. I would be honored to receive your vote this November and hope that you will vote for educators for your school board!