To the Editor:
My decision to run for School Board was not predicated on my children's education or experience in school but rather on an incident which occurred at my place of employment. My children did not attend ACPS, they attended religious schools, so I run for School Board with no ax to grind, no preconceived notion as to what is right. I am totally impartial and my only goal is to make it right.
I work in a retail store very close to T.C. Williams H.S. and I hire ELL students from ACPS on a part time basis. The students wanted to attend college, but there were never any discussions about college and that was wrong. So my commitment is not personal — it is for others who wish to go to college or what ever career path they chose to be given the opportunity.
I have attended most School Board meetings and facilities meetings this year so I understand the protocol, the issues at hand and the time commitment. My goals are reachable and relevant: I want a total commitment to quality education for all the students. I advocate small classes,extra teacher support for students in need and a firm commitment to ELL, CTE, and special education programs. In addition we need to foster a more active parental involvement which is essential for student improvement.
I advocate a total commitment to teachers-competitive salaries and annual raises based on performance. Our starting salaries are higher than other jurisdictions, however our raises are not and must be increased to reward excellence. I advocate more teachers and teachers assistants in the classrooms. ACPS spent less in classroom instruction percentage than our neighbors.
We must spend wisely; we need to be accountable for funds spent. The budget drives the educational success of ACPS. The school budget must be adequate to fund our expenses. It is absolutely shocking that we have to spend over a billion dollars to renovate and rebuild our school system. Stick to the proposed budget. We need to tackle these issues now. When the Long Range Facilities Committee looked at modernization of the schools they did not want to tell the cost to the community as it was too expensive but were finally persuaded to do so. When the plan was presented to council, council asked if the elementary schools are overcrowded where is the plan for the new elementary, middle and high school? The budget must reflect everything. It must be totally transparent.
We have ignored the capacity problem. The capacity issue with our schools was brought to light in 2009 — six years ago. Why were we so reluctant to move and face the problem as Jefferson Houston and Cora Kelly are the only schools with space? We need three new schools a elementary, middle and high school. What land is available? I have concerns about redistricting especially in the Beauregard corridor and Landmark area. These will be new developed areas. I pledge to you I will work to make our schools clean, safe and competitive. I will forcefully act — not just react to the problems. I want to to get it right. I will earn your trust but I need your vote to do this.
Please vote for Mimi Goff on Nov. 3.
School Board Candidate District B