WHAT IS YOUR PRIMARY RATIONALE FOR SEEKING A TERM ON THE BOARD?
Being the product of a diverse socio-economic public school system, I value a strong public school education. The District I grew up in valued all students. My wife, Michele, and I chose
Over the last decade, our District has made many significant improvements. However, we can not rest on past successes. I believe that there is more progress to be made. My opponent is running for his fourth term and has already been on the Board for nine years. He will no longer have children in the District before the end of this term. It is time for him to pass the baton. Sometimes it is difficult to make adjustments to a program that you were instrumental in developing. There is a need for Fresh Eyes and an Open Mind to help assess where we are and where we are going. We should not rest on our laurels. My vested interest is the education of our children.
I frequently attend PTA meetings, School Board Meetings and District events. I have coached many of my children’s sports teams. I believe in getting involved. After studying the available school data and talking to several Board and administration members, I decided that I can make a real difference in furthering our progress. As an experienced attorney, I will ask the tough questions and analyze all information.
WHAT IS THE DISTRICT DOING WELL?
Our extracurricular academic teams are doing very well. The athletic, music and theater programs are performing at a high level. We have been pleased with the teachers and principals of our children.
WHAT NEEDS IMPROVEMENT?
Our administration and many supporters of the Board agree that we should be doing better. One of the most vocal supporters of the administration recently said that there is as much work to do over the next 9 years as has been done over the last 9 years. Although we are uncomfortable talking about external indications of success, they are very important. Standardized test scores matter. Our children are compared to other children when applying to colleges. The scores also show whether our children are learning the subject matter. We should not hurt any student just to raise our scores. However, we should look to improve areas where we are letting our kids down. Some say that we are unique and can not be compared to other Districts. I must question that.
I believe that each student is different just like each one of my children is unique. All students must have the opportunity to succeed. I am in favor of open doors and open enrollment. I am in favor of more choices for our students. I am in favor of understanding what other school Districts are doing well and incorporating best practices. I believe that a good Board needs members who think independently. Differing views creates a healthy debate.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE BUDGET?
I believe that in this economic climate every dollar matters. Our per pupil costs are higher than our peers. Why? I would look at all aspects of the budget to find inefficiencies. I would not hurt the education of our children. I wonder how the District wound up this year with almost a $5 million budget surplus. Does that mean we are going to have a big deficiency next year? Is the budget sustainable? I was shocked that our administration originally proposed a budget that got rid of summer school and a number of sports teams. Summer school helps our neediest learners. Although added back, why were they on the chopping block to begin with?
WHAT ARE THE ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF A BOARD MEMBER?
It’s time for Fresh Eyes and an Open Mind - Let’s put Matt on the Board!
Contact info: Matthew.firstname.lastname@example.org