1. Fiscal Responsibility
You balance your checkbook, so should our school district. Become sustainable starts with expanding our revenues without raising taxes, eliminating bureaucratic waste, and making sure that every facility that Carlsbad Unified operates is being utilized. We can only blame the state’s funding mechanics for so long before we need to take our finances into our own hands. Here are a few of the strategies I’ll implement and push for if elected:
Push for a full audit on all district-owned facilities. Analyze which facilities are being under-utilized, and find ways to either populate them or turn them into revenue sources for the district.
Eliminate waste and bureaucracy. I will do everything I can to call into question purchases, staff and faculty additions, and other funding that seems unnecessary. We cannot afford to continue recklessly spending, and I will do everything I can to be a watchdog for the Carlsbad taxpayer.
Keep cuts away from the classroom. Our teachers and their classrooms are the foundation of our education system. Keeping class sizes small, materials available, and teachers stress-free and able to concentrate on their students is the best way to enhance our education system. No longer will we look to slashing department budgets to fill shortfalls. Those short-term “solutions” have a terrible impact on our classrooms, and I’ll do everything in my power to make sure we make cuts elsewhere before we touch the classroom.
Stop the tax-and-spend mentality: Current members of the board have talked about supporting a parcel tax or another bond to help Carlsbad Unified in the budget crisis. I pledge to you that I will not support another taxpayer-funded bailout nor will I support a parcel tax. While we all understand that taxes are necessary to fund public education, California has thrown more money at their schools than most other states, and we’ve yet to see any real progress. It’s time to take responsibility for our own budget and stop putting the burden on taxpayers like you.
2. Transparency & Working with the Community
It’s time to end the closed-door era. By opening Carlsbad Unified up to the community by being more transparent and more open to new ideas from the community, our district can increase public/private partnerships, bring competitive innovation to our district, and help the district avoid embarrassing conflict of interests, such as the one I exposed in 2013.
One of the many ideas I’ve been working on is a merger of truck fleets between the city and school district, potentially saving hundreds of thousands over the course of a few years, while making our city a bit more eco-friendly.
Much of my private sector experience lies in technology. The potential for technology in the classroom is limitless, but we must resist going down the same route as school districts before us.
The idea that you can spend hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars on unproven technology and expect it to integrate flawlessly is both ignorant and ridiculous. Much like in the free market, <strong>Carlsbad Unified should utilize pilot programs to help integrate technology in our classrooms.</strong> Coming from an I.T. background, I hope to work with district staff to strategically introduce new technological platforms to the classroom without breaking the bank.
This approach will not only save our district money, but will help set a precedence for other school districts, establishing Carlsbad Unified as a leader in educational technology in San Diego County.