Santa Barbara Unified School Board
|Why are you running for office?:
|As a first-generation college graduate, I know how difficult the educational experience can be for many students at the Santa Barbara Unified School District. I understand their challenges, because I was in the same situation. My immigrant parents raised me to work hard and strive to do better. I have dedicated my professional life to working in the local school system. This is a great place, and every child deserves high quality education, challenging curriculum, and well-maintained school facilities. I believe together we can do better and I know that each of our district’s 13,044 students are counting on it!
|What makes you qualified for the job?:
|My vast work experience and knowledge of the public school system make me uniquely prepared to step in on day one, ask the right questions, and give clear direction. No step will be skipped, and the community will be included in the educational conversation. I am experienced in all of the functions of a school-district, including the California public school funding system, budget and policy development, compliance, public employment, labor negotiations, public bidding requirements, the California Education Code, and the Brown Act public meeting regulations.
School districts are heavily statutorily regulated and board members must be versed in these regulations. Board members make complicated financial and personnel decisions in addition to award public contracts. Such decisions have a long lasting impact on students, staff, parents and the overall community.
|What are your two main priorities if you win?:
|1. Reopen schools in the most safe manner possible, taking into account students, teachers, staff and parents’ input.
2. Implement a specific financially sustainable action plan that truly addresses the learning gap that keeps increasing each year with an equity lens and clear outcomes and accountability measures.
|How will you interact with other governments?:
|Collaboration is key. Forming partnerships with other elected officials by holding regular joint meetings to discuss topics of mutual interest focused on public education, communication, bringing people together and safety.
|What are your plans to help overcome COVID-19?:
|Follow the science. Make data-driven decisions. Implement my experience in school reopening. Continuous collaboration with teachers, staff, students, parents and local health agencies, to make decisions in the best interest of the students. Follow guidelines and provide PPE for staff, implement safety protocols, per CDC, SBPHD.
Implement a solid plan for contact tracing and limit exposure.
|Which two issues are most important to you?:
Extended Interview with Virginia Alvarez
Santa Barbara Unified School District Candidate Forum