Santa Barbara Unified School District Board
|Why are you running for office?:||The high rates of illiteracy and low mathematics proficiency in our city compel me to run for School Board. The inability of the current Board to anticipate minority student’s unique needs or to engage parent participation. The current Board does not consider the concerns of parents who do participate.|
|What makes you qualified for the job?:||I know what low income families struggle with, because I've lived it. I know what it's like to be a minority, because I am one. And I know how to turn lives around, because I've done it. I currently work as an SB County health inspector and earned a Bachelors in biology from UCLA, but it was not easy getting to where I am now. I was raised in a low income household of fourteen. |
As the third oldest sibling, and after my parents' divorce I was forced to grow up quickly. In addition to studying, and being another income for the family, I was now taking on the role of father-figure. While I went to school and worked two jobs I depended on the public school system to educate my siblings, as most parents or guardians do. But that wasn't working. It was not meeting their unique needs, and grades were slipping because of it.
Many of the schooling issues that I see here in Santa Barbara remind me of what I was experiencing back home. Knowing education had the power to transform my entire family, I made it my top priority. I switched to graveyard shifts in order to home school, a decision that markedly improved academic achievement for my brothers and sisters. Success is a product of proper education.
|What are your two main priorities if you win?:||When I am elected, I will restore learning language arts and math as the focus of the district.|
And I will represent the voice of the parents on the school board.
|How will you interact with other governments?:||I would negotiate and procure contracts between Santa Barbara Unified and Santa Barbara City College, and with UCSB for interns to help reduce class sizes.|
|What are your plans to help overcome COVID-19?:||COVID-19 is here to stay. Like it or not. So, we have to start educating with it and not wait indefinitely for it to go away. Health precautions are necessary for other communicable diseases, as well as for Covid-19. Besides, other health issues result from isolation, including mental health. Depression is skyrocketing, domestic abuse is on the rise. Parents aren't working or children are left home alone. Students have missed an entire year of learning and some will never recover. The Board needs willingness and flexibility.|
|Which two issues are most important to you?:||Our schools must (1) nurture our diverse community by getting parents engaged, and (2) honestly focusing on literacy for each and every student to the highest levels of their individual abilities.|
Our children are our future, and education will dictate whether they become leaders or indigents. Education is near to my heart because it has played a major role in my own life
Extended Interview with Elrawd MacLearn
Santa Barbara Unified School District Candidate Forum