Education is a priority to me. My kids are 5 and 3, and as a parent I want to know that they will receive an education that prepares them for the future—whatever path they choose.
I am the Chair of the Board of a Title I charter school, Steele Creek Preparatory Academy, where my daughter is a kindergartener. I know first-hand the challenges of balancing funding with school needs, and so I understand some of the challenges CMS faces. I believe the county should always seek ways to fund the requests of CMS, including needs for school nurses, support personnel, and land acquisition.
I have done this before, when I served as your Commissioner from 2012-2018:
-In 2013 I helped fund a $20M initiative to place a nurse in every CMS school
-In 2016 I helped fund $18M in school security upgrades
-in 2018 the Board of County Commissioners wanted to fund a teacher pay increase—via a property tax increase. I dug through the budget, found money we could use for the pay increase, and then successfully got the rest of the Board to agree to fund the pay increase via the existing budget—instead of raising taxes
As your Commissioner, I will pledge to continue to prioritize education initiatives across the county which promote better education outcomes, security for our students, and a better working environment and compensation for our teachers.