There are a number of issues I care about. However, I am not running for the LISD Board of Trustees simply to represent my own interests. I am running because I believe I am an effective advocate for all of us: students, parents, teachers and staff, businesses, and communities. Your perspectives and experiences are critical to shaping how trustees should approach issues facing the district, and that's why I spend a lot of time in schools and meeting with stakeholders.
School Funding & Fiscal Responsibility
We need to continue strengthening our district finances while advocating for more state support. Our state funding system is both arbitrary and insufficient for our district, and many others. Education is an investment, not an expense, and while we must be responsible with taxpayer dollars, we must ask ourselves the serious question of whether we truly want innovation, options, and a top-performing district. Because we cannot cut our way to the top. I have been an active voice for our district and community at the legislature, and I will continue using my voice for the voiceless and for those who entrust our district to do what is right for all students.
During COVID, students experienced a shift in their learning trajectories and I believe now more than ever we have to design systems that offer more individualized options for student success and growth. We know that each student, just like each household, experienced COVID uniquely, and as we move forward as a system, we have to support students in a way that facilitates their unique growth. I believe that, just like adults, our students learned something from their experiences through COVID, and it is up to us to find ways to leverage all they learned to identify gaps that we can help them close. We must find ways to support all aspects of student learning.
Now more than ever, we need parent and community voice in our decision-making processes to ensure decisions are made that support students and that support teachers and staff. Engagement is more than commenting on social media posts. It is about showing up to support student events. It is about showing up at the polls, participating in Board Coffees, responding to surveys, volunteering on our campuses and advocating for our students’ needs with lawmakers. As a board member and district volunteer, I can tell you that there is great power when our community unites and advocates for our interests. We can get roads built, we can change school funding formulas, and we can fight for adequate teacher compensation. I encourage each of you to find a neighbor who is not engaged with the District and ask them to invest in our community by sharing their thoughts, experiences, and expertise to support Leander ISD students. Our community is centered on our schools and we all must invest in our future – our students.
Leander ISD teachers and staff are exhausted. They have spent the last three school years changing the way they teach, supporting students in ways they never have had to before, and many are doing so while managing their own households. The Great Reshuffle is underway in education, and we must have supports in place to keep talented and passionate educators so our students can grow and learn in a healthy environment. I believe as a governing body, this board needs to continue to support innovative initiatives that make life easier for teachers, so they can better balance work needs and self-care and so their passion for educating students is reignited.