First, every child has the right to succeed and we must keep the needs of our students first. Pomona School District has made tremendous strides; increasing test scores, partnering with businesses, developing trade career paths and increasing our educational offerings. The November passage of School Bond Measure PS made possible the refurbishment of many schools this summer and air conditioning of our oldest school, Lincoln Elementary. Innovative educational programs have been created and schools have been reconfigured to meet the needs of students and parents. As a Board, we have worked collaboratively to eliminate waste and demand fiscal accountability. We have also worked to create greater transparency within the District. For the first time, we held community forums to receive input on the selection of a new Superintendent and we have created a community budget committee to provide input on the District’s budget and fiscal priorities.
Second, although we have accomplished many things, the work before us is not without challenges. As the State struggles to balance its budget, unfortunately school districts, which are reliant on the State for funding, have been subjected to unprecedented cuts that appear to continue. Since 2008, PUSD has lost approximately $49 million dollars, and while we managed to avoid massive cuts by using one-time federal funding to save the jobs of teachers and support personnel, next year promises to be fiscally difficult. It is imperative that we let our voices be heard in Sacramento and ask our legislators to make education a priority. We also need to explore new and inventive funding sources that allow us to maintain and create educational programs in PUSD that will allow our students to excel and are attractive to parents.
Third, reducing the dropout rate, keeping teachers and support personnel, closing the achievement gap, having safe schools, reasonable class sizes, and maintaining art and athletic programs are all important to the success of our District. It is now more important than ever to maintain stability and continuity in the District.
Finally, as a school law attorney for over 22 years and an active parent in community and school district activities, My experience and commitment to the children of PUSD will assist me in continuing to serving our District well. I believe that I have worked to make a positive difference in the lives of PUSD students. Working together, we can continue to build on our successes.