It goes without saying that changing the way public education is funded must be a top priority for all school board members. I believe that for the greatest likelihood of success we should focus on advocating for fully funding mandates, and for the basic funding formula to be tied to inflation. These two changes to funding would deliver significantly more funding for every student in the state of Minnesota, and thus in my opinion have the greatest likelihood of success. While I continue to drive for change as the leader of the Legislative Action Team I believe there are several other priorities to focus on to ensure the continued success of our students.
Listen to Learn
To be successful we must listen to the thoughts, ideas and questions of our community, our students and our educators with the intention of learning; in order to ensure that the solutions we arrive at are the result of thoughtful collaboration with the people they impact the most.
I believe one of the opportunities our district has is to focus on building trusting and transparent relationships with our stakeholders. We must not only make more district information available to the public, and do so in a way that is accessible to all, but also ensure information is shared in a way that is understandable. I feel strongly that our district should make all school board meetings, and thus the conversations and decisions that are made during the meetings, more accessible by offering a recording or a live stream of the events. I think these meetings that discuss the current topics are critical opportunities to directly share the information more broadly and timely with our community.
STMA ranks in the top 6.6% of schools in Minnesota in reading, math and science. As we face financial uncertainty, I believe it is critical to ensure the academic excellence of our students is our number one priority. In order to meet challenges as they arise, I believe that the school board must continue to evolve their thinking and encourage innovative solutions. Challenging the status quo will be necessary to ensure we continue to thrive as a district, and our students are given the opportunity to excel.
We are fortunate at STMA to have such an incredible and capable staff of educators. They are the experts on what they need in order to achieve success with their students. I ran so that I can help support and empower them to continue to do what they do best, bringing excellent classroom experiences to our kids.