I come from a family that has been involved with education and job creation for as long as I can remember. I was raised believing in America... our culture of "can do" problem solving and self-evident truth of equality for all before God.
As KISD School Board Trustee I want to work for you. Let me put my decades in transparent and accountable management to work for you and your families. We need to create growth that brings in living-wage jobs from companies willing to pay their fair share of property taxes and invest in our town, accelerate improving our schools with better use of tools & policies to keep the costs/taxes down bringing more control to our parents and students, and guarantee public safety by reducing conditions for crime a top priority.
With over thirty-five of business experience, I know what it takes to find solutions, navigate the complicated governmental agencies, and get things done.
My Top Priorities
I believe we must have the best-educated population and workforce in the world. That means making early childhood education and universal preschool a priority, especially in light of new research showing how much early learning can impact life-long success. I will do everything in my ability to work with our leaders to invest in early childhood programs like Early Head Start and provide every family in America with access to high-quality childcare and high-quality preschool programs. I support efforts to raise wages for childcare workers, and to ensure that early childhood educators are experienced and high-quality.
I know the federal government must play a critical role in making sure every child has access to a world-class education. I believe that a strong public education system is an anchor of our democracy, a propeller of the economy, and the vehicle through which we help all children achieve their dreams. Public education must engage students to be critical thinkers and civic participants while addressing the wellbeing of the whole child.
I also support increased investments in afterschool and summer learning programs, which help working families, keep kids safe, and inspire learning at a time when many students are left unsupervised. We must find ways to encourage mentoring programs that support students in reaching their full potential. Mentoring is a strategy to ensure that children living in poverty have the encouragement and support to aim high and enter the middle class. I will focus on group mentoring and on the job apprenticeship program, which is a low-cost, high-yield investment that offers the benefit of building a supportive network of peers who push one another towards success.
All students should be taught to high academic standards. Schools should have adequate resources to provide programs and support to help meet the needs of every child. I will work with community members to hold schools, districts, communities, and states accountable for raising achievement levels for all students—particularly low-income students, students of color, English Language Learners, and students with disabilities.
We must fulfill our national commitment to provide a meaningful education to students with disabilities, and work towards full funding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act so that students with disabilities can receive the extra resources and services they need. With an appropriate educational foundation, children with disabilities can thrive and become adults with greater opportunities and more meaningful life experiences.
I am also deeply committed to ensuring that we strike a better balance on testing so that it informs, but does not drive, instruction. To that end, I will encourage states to develop a multiple measures approach to assessment, and we believe that standardized tests must be reliable and valid. I oppose high-stakes standardized tests that falsely and unfairly label students of color, students with disabilities and English Language Learners as failing; the use of standardized test scores as basis for refusing to fund schools or to close schools; and the use of student test scores in teacher and principal evaluations, a practice which has been repeatedly rejected by researchers. I support enabling parents to opt their children out of standardized tests without penalty for either the student or their school.
I recognize and honor all the professionals who work in public schools to support students’ education—teachers, education support professionals, and specialized staff. We know that good teachers are essential to improving student learning and helping all students to meet high academic standards. Krum and Denton County must recruit and retain high-quality teachers. We will ensure that teachers receive the tools and ongoing professional development they need to succeed in the classroom and provide our children with a world-class education. We also must lift up and trust our educators, continually build their capacity, and ensure that our schools are safe, welcoming, collaborative, and well-resourced places for our students, educators, and communities.
We will invest in high-quality STEAM classes, community schools, computer science education, arts education, and expand link learning models and career pathways. We will end the school-to-prison pipeline by opposing discipline policies which disproportionately affect African Americans and Latinos, Native Americans and Alaska Natives, students with disabilities, and youth who identify as LGBT. We will support the use of restorative justice practices that help students and staff resolve conflicts peacefully and respectfully while helping to improve the teaching and learning environment. And we will work to improve school culture and combat bullying of all kinds.
I am committed to eliminating opportunity gaps—particularly those that lead to students from low-income communities arriving on day one of kindergarten several years behind their peers. This means advocating for labor and public assistance laws that ensure poor parents can spend time with their children. This means raising household incomes in poor communities. It means ensuring children have health care, stable housing free of contaminants, and a community free of violence in order to minimize the likelihood of cognitive delays. It means enriching early childhood programming to prepare children in areas such as literacy, numeracy, civic engagement, and emotional intelligence. It means supporting equitable and adequate state funding for public education, and expanding Title I funding for schools that serve a large number or high concentration of children in poverty. It means ending curriculum gaps that maintain and exacerbate achievement gaps.
I support policies that motivate rather than demoralize our educators. I am committed to ensuring that schools that educate children in poverty are not treated unfairly, which is why we will end the test-and-punish version of accountability that does no more than reveal the many opportunity gaps facing students from low-income communities.
I am committed to providing parents with high-quality public school options and expanding these options for low-income youth. I support democratically governed, great neighborhood public schools and high-quality public charter schools, and will help them disseminate best practices to other school leaders and educators. I oppose for-profit charter schools focused on making a profit off of public resources. High-quality public charter schools should provide options for parents, but should not replace or destabilize traditional public schools. Charter schools must reflect their communities, and thus must accept and retain proportionate numbers of students of color, students with disabilities and English Language Learners in relation to their neighborhood public schools.
I support increased transparency and accountability for all charter schools.
Positive Growth and Jobs
Nothing is more important than creating good-paying jobs that can support a middle-class life — from nurses, firefighters, and teachers to construction workers, factory workers, and small business owners. I am committed to doing everything I can to help other leader in Krum and Denton County build a full-employment economy, where everyone has a job that pays enough to raise a family and live in dignity with a sense of purpose.
We must attract quality businesses that will pay fair property taxes, employ our local citizens, invest in our town and the area, and not damage our beautiful lands.
We know that when Americans come together, we can do amazing things. In the last century, our leaders came together across the aisle to electrify the nation, build the Interstate Highway System, support groundbreaking research in medicine, science, and communications, and send a man to the moon.
When we are bold and ambitious, we can do big things and make our economy stronger for decades to come.
Krum and Denton County must continue communicating services both current and proposed to our citizens in timely and accurate means using appropriate technology and policies.
I will renew and expand our commitment to Community Health Centers, as well as community mental health centers and family planning centers. These health centers provide critically important, community-based prevention and treatment in underserved communities, prevent unnecessary and expensive trips to emergency rooms, and are essential to the successful implementation of the ACA.
One of the key ingredients to the success of these health centers is a well-supported and qualified workforce in community-based settings. I will work to attract, train and support this workforce. I will encourage providers to work with underserved populations and create a comprehensive strategy to increase the pool of primary health care professionals in our area.
If we are serious about reversing the decline of the middle class in Denton County, we need major federal investments to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and employ our citizens in decent paying jobs in both the public and private sectors. The climate emergency and the need to expand the middle class demand that we make the most ambitious investment in American infrastructure since President Eisenhower created the interstate highway system.
More importantly as Krum and Denton County grow we have to stay ahead and not just maintain but expand our roads, bridges, public transit, and passenger rail lines. Our area is perfect to build 21st century energy and water systems, modernize our schools, and continue to support the expansion of high-speed broadband networks.
We will protect public health and safety by modernizing drinking and wastewater systems. These investments will create secure, good-paying middle-class jobs today and will substantially increase demand for Krum's products and services. And by boosting economic growth in a fair and equitable way, and strengthening our long-term competitiveness, these investments will create many more jobs in the years to come.
Paper in progress.
Paper in progress