Issues and Priorities

 

Public education is the foundation of our democracy and the promise of opportunity for every child to thrive and succeed. In order to realize this in our district, we need to close opportunity gaps and ensure that students of all races, ethnicities, family incomes, home languages, abilities, religions, genders, and sexualities have equitable pathways to success and the opportunity to pursue their goals and interests. Holding the district accountable to their new strategic plan, I will focus on the vision that “every Seattle Public Schools’ student receives a high-quality, world-class education and graduates prepared for college, career, and community” in every board decision.

  • Students need to know that they are valued and cared about in our schools, and that their identities and differences are assets rather than barriers to success in the classroom.

  • Educators need the resources and support from the district and building leaders to effectively engage and teach our diverse student body.

  • Families need to know that they are welcome participants in their student’s education, and in their communities.

  • Stakeholders in Seattle Public Schools need transparency and consistency in budget and policy matters.

 

Student safety

I will work with district staff to create consistent, equitable plans for our buildings that address student safety, both physical and social-emotional, and support legislation that protects the health and well-being of our kids.

  • A diverse and culturally responsive workforce is necessary, and I support anti-bias training for teachers, staff, and administrators; efforts to recruit and retain more educators of color; prioritizing funding to hire more counselors, nurses, psychologists, and family support workers; consistent policy throughout all buildings in Seattle Public Schools to respond appropriately to incidents of racism and bullying; restorative rather than punitive discipline

  • We need to ensure that our buildings are fully accessible, up-to-date with earthquake retrofitting, and have clear and effective evacuation and shelter-in-place plans and procedures. Practice and implementation of these plans must not create additional stress for students or educators (for example, traumatic active shooter drills)

  • Gun violence is a public heath crisis, and families and communities in Seattle Public Schools are affected by it far too often. Gun violence is preventable, and I will fight for solutions that will help keep gun violence in all its forms out of our schools and communities.

 

Equitable access and opportunity

All students should have access to unique and advanced learning opportunities, and equitable pathways to success with the opportunity to pursue their goals and interests.

  • All students should see themselves in their curriculum, and know that who they are matters and that they can succeed. For example, I support the adoption of an ethnic studies curriculum that empowers students and educators.

  • Racial bias in the areas of special education, advanced learning, and discipline needs to be addressed so that students of color have their academic needs appropriately met and are not being stigmatized or denied access to resources.

  • Option schools and unique programs need stronger support from the district to ensure their sustainability and to inform the community about their goals and benefits, and about the open enrollment process so that all families have access to the opportunities that will best serve their students.

 

authentic family and community engagement

Family engagement is key to student success, and we must ensure that all families have access and opportunity to be involved in their students' education in welcoming, inclusive schools.

  • Relationships matter, and it’s extremely important that we prioritize not only more staffing for family support workers, counselors, nurses, but that we also work to sustain those positions, with the same people. Such staff are often the hearts of our schools, critical to the academic success of kids and to connecting families to resources.

  • Funding for support positions, training, and opportunity for career advancement are necessary to attract and retain the staff that support vulnerable groups, and must be prioritized, as well as culturally-responsive communication methods with language interpretation and translation.

 

accountability, consistency, stability

From special education, to boundaries, to recess time, practices across the district are inconsistent and ever-changing.

  • I will prioritize the development of predictable, consistent, and well-communicated operations policy and practice so that staff is better supported, students can focus on learning, and expectations and accountability are clear.

  • I will demand that building leaders and central offices have open pathways of communication and are proactive when issues arise at the building level, with clearly outlined procedures to offer support from the district.