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MY PRIORITIES

  Stewardship is at the heart of my priorities, and the excellent board governance that Jeffco Schools needs and Jeffco parents

  and our taxpayers deserve.  I’ll fight for much better governance of Jeffco Public Schools by the Board of Education.

  • Stewardship of Taxpayer Dollars

    • Jeffco’s Capital Improvement Program is more than $100 million over budget, with three years still to go. I resigned from the Capital Asset Advisory Committee because of its poor management and weak governance. I will fight to dramatically improve both.

    • Jeffco is receiving millions in federal and state aid to recover our children’s COVID learning losses. I will fight to ensure these funds are used as efficiently and effectively as possible to benefit our students and their learning experiences.

    • Jeffco’s budgeting process fails to link activities to costs and results versus critical goals. Jeffco’s overhead costs have been rising, even as student enrollment drops, and achievement results decline. Every year, Jeffco focuses only on allocating incremental revenue, rather than analyzing how efficiently and effectively our $1.4 billion budget is used to educate our children. I will fight to bring Jeffco’s financial management processes into the 21st century.

 

  • Stewardship of Our Children’s Future

    • As Jeffco Superintendent Tracy Dorland has told the Board of Education, Jeffco’s student achievement results have been declining since 2017. I look forward to working with Superintendent Dorland to raise our achievement results and prepare our children to thrive in the 21st century economy. 

    • This decline impacts all students. The tables below show the percent of Jeffco students in different ethnic groups who did NOT meet state standards in English Language Arts and Math when they were in 3rd grade in 2016 and in 6th grade in 2019.  Our achievement results are alarming – and COVID learning losses have made them worse.

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  • If we’re not serious about substantially improving literacy and numeracy for ALL our children, we’re not serious about equity. I will fight to dramatically improve student achievement results for ALL Jeffco students.

 

  • I began my career as a mental health therapist and have an understanding of the way some children may have been affected by their experience during the pandemic.  One of my top priorities is ensuring Jeffco has a clear understanding of the clinical needs of our students’ mental health challenges and that Jeffco has the appropriate mix of staff with the skills and certifications needed to address them.
     

  • Many businesses today struggle to hire employees with the adequate skills they need. Yet too many of the District’s Career and Technical Education programs are failing to provide students with skill certifications that are highly valued in the market. I will fight hard to close this gap.

  • Stewardship of Parents’ Choice

    • More than 40% of Jeffco families use some type of school choice, not only charters, but also schools within the district that are not their neighborhood school.  One of my priorities is making sure that parents have the information they need to make the best possible choice for their children. 

    • Parents also must have the information they need to make well-informed risk management and health choices for their children.  Parents need to understand the air quality / HVAC systems of their children’s schools.  We have a heightened understanding that air quality impacts school communities and children’s learning.

    • Further, elected officials, like the Jeffco Board of Education, must take responsibility for making difficult tradeoffs between competing beliefs including minimizing infection risk, minimizing learning losses, and minimizing the loss of parents’ jobs.  The Board needs to clearly explain their reasoning to the public.  Simply put, elected officials need to be accountable to their constituency!
       

  • Stewardship of Effective Board Governance

    • For six years we have seen achievement results plummet while district overhead spending continued to increase. Our Capital Improvement Program accumulated more than $100 million in cost overruns. These are all painful signs that the Jeffco Board of Education has not been exercising effective governance over the district.

    •  Governance is not management.  Governance is about asking tough questions of the district’s leaders regarding Jeffco’s declining performance, rather than telling them the answers.  It is about holding leadership accountable for substantially improving the results we’re getting in exchange for the $1.4 billion we spend each year on preparing our children to thrive in the 21st century economy.