The main issues facing the Denton ISD and how you would resolve them:
Denton ISD must be prepared to meet the continuing challenges of rapid growth in student population while being fiscally responsible to its taxpayers and simultaneously offering the highest quality education possible for every student in each region of our district. Strong, effective, and experienced board leadership is essential.
Why voters should re-elect you?
Strong qualifications and proven experience allow me to contribute to the stable leadership required for Denton ISD to meet the very real challenges we face and achieve our vision of excellence for each of our schools in all parts of our diverse district and ensure that each child among our almost 30,000 students experiences success on an individual and personal basis. We must always remember that our students are our future and our community’s most important asset.
What do you think the role of a school board member is? How have you been able to fill that role?
I both teach and believe in the Trusteeship Theory of Government which requires all public officials to be servant leaders and to carry out their governmental duties as a public trust. School board members have a very special trust relationship with our community because we hold in trust the lives and futures of our children. Our children are our most important and precious assets.
I take my fiduciary responsibilities as a trustee very seriously. I try to move about our large and very diverse district and attend as many school activities and public events as possible so I can listen and learn from our students, parents, and all the stakeholders in the Denton ISD community. I have a responsibility to study and stay informed about local, state, and national education policy and to use that knowledge and experience to make informed and wise decisions for all our children. Also, I am and will continue to be an advocate for public schools and for the opportunity for each and every child in Denton ISD to reach their full potential in both academic and personal development.
Being your trustee in Denton ISD is a very satisfying and fulfilling part of my life. Denton is such a great community in which to live. Our people believe in education and have very high expectations for school performance and for good governance among its leaders. Thank you as voters for your continuing trust in allowing me to serve.
What issues do you think are the most important issues in Denton schools right now? How do you plan to solve them?
School Finance is our #1 concern.
We must all work together to require the Texas Legislature to fulfill its obligation in Article VII of the Texas Constitution to “make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools.” We also must find ways to retain within Denton ISD as much as possible of the local school property taxes paid by our constituents so that revenue can be utilized for our students rather than being absorbed by the state.
Our #2 concern is Growth.
What a good problem to have! People like living within Denton ISD. They demonstrate this by continuing to move within our district boundaries. We grow by about 1,000 additional students each year. Growth requires on-going financial and facilities planning to have the classroom spaces available for these students when they arrive. Parents expect schools to be open for their children on day one when their families move into our district. Our citizens play an important role in solving this problem by serving on our bond advisory and bond progress committees. Our board is very grateful for this citizen engagement within our larger community as we construct the necessary new facilities and simultaneously do the maintenance and upgrades on existing buildings throughout the district. We could not succeed in this endeavor without strong community support.
What are your thoughts about news coming out of the state legislature in regards to school funding and potential voucher programs?
The Texas Legislature is directed by Article VII of the Texas Constitution to “make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools.” We must all work together to encourage our state legislators to meet their constitutional obligation. Public schools in Texas are still suffering from the budget cuts imposed in 2011. Our per capita student funding is still below the level before the 2011 cuts. Costs are increasing. Teacher salaries need to be increased so we can attract the best and most capable individuals into our teacher work force. Health care costs are real concerns for our teachers and staff. The costs of new construction as well as building maintenance continue to rise. Please help us be advocates for our students in the Legislature. We need to encourage our legislators to invest in the future of Texas by adequately and equitably funding our public schools.
Vouchers are not the answer, because they take funds away from our public schools. Taxpayer dollars should not be used to support private or religious schools. These schools have a right to exist, but not at public expense.
The future of Texas depends upon strong public schools so that every child in every community regardless of economic status has the school resources necessary for that child to prosper both academically and emotionally so that our children can assume the leadership roles in our communities. The graduating class of 2030 will be in our kindergarten classrooms this coming fall. We must be ready to help them achieve their goals.