The one and only candidate forum was sponsored by the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce. You can view the entire forum here. Here are my thoughts.
There are three candidates running for Trustee that could probably talk your ears off when it comes to education issues, Jamieson Mackay, Glencora Rodgers, and Trustee Arturo Sanchez. All three showed a clear understanding of the issues, but you could tell that a one minute response was not enough for them to provide an adequate response. They all just seemed to have an in depth knowledge of education issues, something we should appreciate.
In District 2 voters will have a tough choice. Both would be a great addition to the Board and community. Both know the issues and both are passionate about education. What more can you ask for?
Arturo Sanchez is clearly the most qualified of candidates for District 3, hands down. His experience, passion, and in depth knowledge of educational issues cannot be matched. As with Mackay and Rodgers, Sanchez will not bring division to our community.
There were a couple of interesting questions which I will highlight below after my next rant.
Peter Lauzon, on the other hand, stuck to what he knew and for those who do not know the background of the issues he might have come off as reasonable. On a number of times he talked about the 2.5% cap on the budget claiming it hinders the growth of the district. Yes there is a cap, but it’s not exactly the highest priority of the district and that cap was put on the district by the state, which is run by his own party. (republican)
He had a chance to denounce vouchers but instead he said CCISD would have to deal with it since his party will probably pass that into law. Everyone else talked about how that would take funds away from CCISD students.
He also kept mentioning that CCISD needs to offer alternative technical courses for those who do not intend to go to college. Again, CCISD has an excellent Career and Technical Education program something a candidate should know. He said CCISD should partner with the Texas Workforce Commission. (They already have a partnership) He said metrics and benchmarking are needed to measure the progress of students. (They do that already) He piggy backed on another candidates comment about establishing faith based partnerships. (They do that already)
He wants more funding for safety, although his party has flooded our streets with guns, allowing 18 year olds to buy assault weapons, allowing anyone to buy a walk around in public with guns. The district has spent millions on safety measures all because his party will not solve the problem of gun violence.
When asked about getting questions on social media he claimed that he would reach out to the parents to understand the issue, yet he has blocked a number of people on his Facebook page.
When asked about what specific training he would need to become an effective Trustee he answered that he would take all the training provided. (didn’t really answer the question)
Bullying and threats
I thought the question about bullying at the school board meeting needs to be discussed in an open forum. Glencora could have taken 10 minutes to talk about civility at the meetings but her response was what we all expected. It needs to stop and civility needs to return to the board meetings. She was also asked about what to do about threats to Board members. I did not remember the response, but I think we all know this is unacceptable and some people need to get a life.
Vouchers, school choice, charter schools
Every candidate should have been asked about vouchers. Except for Lauzon, all three had great answers to vouchers and charter schools. Vouchers will take money away from the district, a district that has excellent choices for education. Charter schools should be required to adhere to the same public school standards since they are using tax dollars. Lauzon had opportunities to voice his opinion but didn’t. His party’s platform supports vouchers, charter schools, and privatizing public education.
Other questions that were not asked
I would have like to hear if anyone would accept PAC money or money from partisan organizations. So far only one candidate has. There should have been a question about what the Board could do to address the loss of funding from vouchers.
awesome reporting, John!
I wish that more people knew that hardening the schools with more armed guards and administration with guns does nothing to prevent the violence, death or injury. INFACT it has been found that schools with armed guards in these kinds of school shootings have an increased death toll of x2.83! I repeat, armed guards increase the death toll in these atrocities by x2.83!!! Also, considering that the perpetrators are 85% students at the school or former students at the school, they’ve found that these drills may actually be training a future assailant while traumatizing everyone. Although I wish our administration could put on their big boy panties and enact some actual gun safety/control measures… in the absence of that…. I think that the solutions that they choose should at least NOT BE COUNTER PRODUCTIVE. Non-violent conflict resolution and deescalation training, having anonymous no-fault ways of reporting a kid and then a mindful approach to dealing with them (since most of them are basically suicidal anyway), anti-bullying rules, actually funding mental health instead of just talking about it. giving kids things to do, and some way to get around before they get a car. all sorts of things could make a positive difference.
[…] He couldn’t answer basic questions during the forum […]