First Class Public Education for Everyone

Close the Gap social with Aileen Rizo-Acosta, candidate for Assembly District 23, her three young daughters and myself celebrating her decision to run for office! Aileen is a math teacher and has fought and won her case for Equal Pay for Equal Work for all women!

Since 1992, I have worked as an educator in public schools for Madera, Chawanakee, Golden Valley and Bass Lake Unified Schools as well as Fresno County School Districts. I taught Child Development at the Madera Community College for many years.  I volunteered at Small Fry Cooperative, a landmark in Madera, when my daughter was in preschool, after I had taught KIndergarten for 6 years.  I have been a long-time resident and community member of Madera Ranchos since 1991 and have enjoyed teaching since 1992 from Pre-Kindergarten to College.

As a teacher, I am very concerned about the privatization  of public education towards private charters and for profit schools which may pay teachers less, have unelected boards unaccountable to the local people, offer students less and allow for “Choice” of their students rather than serving all students quality education, and consistently offend constitutional prohibitions of separation of church and state in funding and curriculum.

The Federal Government currently has cut the US Department of Education budget by $ 9.2 Billion and put our schools at greater risk.  I find the “choice” and school voucher direction to be misleading our country and being 45th in the nation in education, California must work smarter to protect and strengthen education for all students.

We may need to ban charter schools, that try to privatize public money so as to ensure Public Schools for all students which is embedded in our Federal, State and Local Laws such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA).

  Some public charters, however,  do adhere to best practices in the public interest with teacher-led schools that welcome all students including those with the highest needs. We must do more in our school districts for our disabled and special needs students as well as for english learners and  gifted students by offering appropriate programs.

I protect the rights of all students including minorities and/or majorities of students including LGBTQ, Muslim and Dreamers, Asian, African American, Indian, and every child and student to be safe and free to learn and grow in a positive environment to their fullest potential, goals and dreams for lifelong learning.   Education brings people together in community and for our common good face-to-face in the classroom, in our neighborhoods or towns.  We also meet on the computer, in auditoriums, on the sports fields and in our homes and jobs with more learning opportunities.

We can all celebrate academic achievements, real growth and milestones of every child into maturity and graduation, and society benefits tomorrow when we prepare today.   We can honor and respect  the diversity of students and our state’s families from every culture, religion and background to have a quality, first class education that is inclusive and excellent.

I support teachers and their rights to teach with academic freedom, encouragement, training, good pay and professionalism with best practices. Fortunately, CA is doing more in this direction, but we must be vigilant. Our Civil Rights in our schools under Brown v Board of Education are vital to our ensuring all students a Quality Public and Free Education free from racism and harm.  Our state has prepared for a rainy day and has a surplus in our state budget.

Ironically, it is in direct proportion to the amount of cuts wrought onto California by the Federal Budget cuts.   The GOP Tax plan which  passed makes the already wealthy even richer and Corporations deregulated to pollute, out-source, weaken and send jobs out of the country and to impose a wall street corporate agenda in our government which is anti-labor and the middle class and it should be countered at our state and local  level with respect to the people and our common good, of which I aim to be your champion.

Candidate for Governor,  Gavin Newsom,  has an excellent education plan.  He will work to help make Education in our state even better!

Tony Thurmond, Candidate for State Education Superintendent

Free College for California’s Community College and State Colleges is my goal too, just like Bernie!

I support all Children, Students, Families, Educators, School Staff and in all of our Public Schools from Pre-K to College and apprenticeship training programs for good and union jobs in District 5 and statewide with a top priority to quality, investment, equity, and equality to lead the way to California’s Strong Economy!

Martin Luther King, Jr. said. “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”  Remember we are all equal and have a right to an education.