• Lisa Messer

Adopt Policies and a Budget that Reflect our Community Values

This is the first of my three goals for Vancouver Public Schools and I'm going to go over details for what this means and give examples.

But first we have examples of priorities that don’t match our community values. These are decisions that have been suggested or made by the board of VPS recently:

-Suggested reduction of school counselors and classroom teachers

-Increased use of technology in preK-3rd

-Increased difference in pay between management and workers

-Continued use of traditional work hours as a time for community

-Increase in the use of standardized assessments

Often while out speaking with people during this campaign I hear these issues brought up and examples of what our community does not want in our schools.

Adopting policies and a budget that reflects our community values isn’t necessarily about what I want for our schools. Instead it is about what our community wants for our schools. The only way we can change this is by listening to our community, getting everyone's input, and inviting all voices to the table (at a time that works for them). We need to increase the number of community input opportunities during evenings and weekends so more voices can be heard and increase the number of community forums that focus on the needs and interests of different groups. For example:

-District budget decisions (what can and shouldn’t be cut)

-Technology needs in the classroom

-Our ELL interventions

-Special Education

-Career and Technical Education

-Increasing racial equity across the district

-Increasing social emotional needs across the district

-Needs and support for our LGBT students

We can make our schools meet the needs of our community, families and most importantly our students when we listen to all voices and gather input from every one.

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