Isaura Garcia on the Issues
The passion for my candidacy is to raise the bar in our district in the categories of academics, teacher support, and community relations.
Integrity, compassion, and honesty are characteristics that I bring to the table. With the hard work and perseverance that I provide I typically induce the best qualities from my peers.
My goal is to work with my fellow board members to bring policies to the agenda that will support our teachers, raise test scores, and increase community participation. I would also seek opportunities that will enhance and grow reading campaigns
Many schools in Saint Joe are falling into disrepair. What would you do to see schools maintained and upgraded?
It is my understanding that over the last couple of years we’ve created a budget to improve the deferred maintenance of each building. As a board member, I would see to it that this continues and that the budget is increased if necessary
These last couple of years have been difficult for all of us, with Covid and having to quarantine. The board has access to local health information and I believe they made decisions accordingly.
Would you be in favor of mandating face masks or vaccinations of students within the school district? Please elaborate.
While I do believe masks provide a layer of protection, this should be on a case by case scenario depending on current information locally. Young children learn to speak by reading lips, and there are pros and cons to masking. Everything has to be considered. While I believe vaccines should be available, I do not believe that they should be mandatory.
As a bookkeeper at a local church I know that there are always areas of improvement in a budget. After meeting our assistant super intended Dr. Gabe Edgar, it is my understanding that our reserve balance has steadily increased over the last several years. I believe we currently have over 30 million in that fund. While I do believe there are areas of improvement, we seem to be headed in the right direction.
The majority of our budget is allocated to salaries and wages. Obviously, we have building expenses as well. I will always advocate for advanced curriculum opportunities, trade school enhancements, and the continuation of fine arts such as band & theater.
Our school district is audited on an annual basis. Board members review an itemized budget on a monthly basis. Board members can also look into any questionable items and receive detailed information. Our school district has a finance committee which meets on a monthly basis and is recorder for the public to see. I would encourage this to continue.
After talking to several staff members, in my opinion, our greatest challenge is the lack of support for our teachers and staff.
As an employee with community progressive services which is a company that ensures that our kids with disabilities have advocacy, I believe our special education system has room for improvement in the areas of consistency and support. One of the areas of improvement from my perspective, would be assessing children who are in need of an IEP at an earlier age. In the area of support I would ensure that we have enough qualified support staff in the district to strengthen students who require additional assistance.
Behavioral issues and lack of communication between teachers and administration. With more communication we could create solutions to specific issues, such as discipline behavior.
How will you encourage community interaction and receive community feedback about the state of Saint Joseph Schools?
In the past we have struggled with community relationships. Community relationships are vital to the success of our school district. I think we’re currently taking steps in the right direction. We have to encourage projects that bring our city together and keep an open line of communication with our community.
I suggest we have a recommended amount of time that each parent could volunteer on an annual basis. This wouldn’t be mandatory but it would help out in areas like reading, mentorship and other school activities.
Do you support transgender-inclusive or lgbtq+ policies for schools such as bathroom and locker room inclusion based on someone's preferred gender?
Public education is open to the public.
Would you encourage the introduction of materials into the school system based on Critical Race Theory (CRT)?
Most curriculum developers are licensed teachers and school administrators. Their responsibility is to develop and implement new techniques to improve education and training, My opinion is this should also be vetted by our local teachers before it is approved by the board.