Dear California Parents & Voters –
I am announcing my campaign for Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of California. The election is held on June 5th, 2018 on the statewide ballot.
What is the Superintendent?
The Superintendent of Public Instruction is the only elected seat on the California Board of Education. The Governor appoints the other eleven members of the board. This means it is the ONLY opportunity for voters to decide who represents them on their own State Board of Education.
The Board of Education oversees an annual budget of more than $76 Billion dollars and sets the direction for all public schools in California. The Superintendent carries out the board’s wishes and has a LOT of say in how our children are educated.
Why is the Board so Important?
Special interests have poured money into this race because they want to claim that 12th seat as an advantage for their side. But in the ongoing debate about Charter Schools versus Teachers Union, one voice is consistently left out of the discussion – PARENTS!
For too long, special interest money has dictated school policies across our state. This is why our school infrastructure is crumbling, needed positions are not funded and student morale is low. California schools used to be among the highest performing school systems in the country – now we’re desperately trying to raise graduation rates.
What Can Be Done?
Finally, we are seeing students and parents fed up with dysfunctional schools across the country. Students are demanding to be safe in their own schools and they are marching to show the world what they want. Many parents want a greater say in how their schools are run.
That’s why I’m running as the “PARENT” candidate – to give a voice to parents on the CA Board of Education. I believe ALL of our children deserve 3 things from our school system:
· Safe & Secure Schools
· A Welcoming and Positive Learning Environment
· Ability to Be Healthy and Ready to Learn
To accomplish that, I’m focused on these three issues:
SAFETY & SECURITY
Democrats & Republicans agree on almost nothing when it comes to guns and protecting our schools from shootings. But they do agree on one thing – mental health plays an important role in keeping our schools safe. So, both sides agree but what do they do? They CUT funding for school counselors and mental health professionals in our schools.
It’s time that PARENTS DEMAND FUNDING for these positions as a first line of defense against school violence. We also need to develop a set of “best practices” for our schools to follow that help ensure the safety of our kids.
It’s been said that “if a school looks like a prison the students are more likely to go to prison but if a school looks like a college they are more likely to go to college.” Many of our schools are falling apart with sinks hanging off the wall, unsafe drinking water and peeling paint (our local elementary school had peeling lead paint – more about that later). We need to make our schools LOOK LIKE THE FUTURE we want for our kids.
It is estimated that California has over 202,000 homeless students on any given day – 15% of them are considered “without a roof” which means they are literally sleeping on the streets. Think about that – 30,000 plus students sleeping on the street before going to school. Thousands more living in cars, relative’s homes or motels.
If a student spends the night on the street, he or she likely will show up at school unwashed, hungry and not ready to learn. This affects not only the homeless student personally but also other kids in class. He or she may have behavioral problems as a result of their home life, resulting in more teacher time spent away from the rest of the class. Graduation rates may be impacted by continued distractions.
Funding is not the issue! Enormous resources have been directed at the homeless in the last few years, but in the Los Angeles Unified School District alone, the rate of homeless students went up almost 40% in the last two years, from 12,000 per night to 17,000. By helping the most vulnerable students in our state, we lift up all students.
SHARE & DONATE
Of course, there are many other issues facing our schools. These are just a few of our challenges but addressing them will make our students safer and happier so they can focus on getting a good education.
If you’ve read this far, I hope you’ll SHARE THIS MESSAGE across your social media to any CONCERNED PARENTS and interested citizens.
If you agree with me, please consider giving our campaign a $10 donation on my website at https://ireland4superintendent.com.
Finally, I urge you to VOTE FOR ME ON JUNE 5th AS CA SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION.
Thank you for listening!