My Five Point Education Plan
- We need a universal start time for all public schools. I want to make that start time either 8am to 2:45pm or 8:45am to 3:30pm. Studies have shown that having adolescence wake up earlier than 7am is equivalent to having an adult wake up before 5am. Their minds need sleep to help them retain the information that is learned throughout the day at school. It is my belief that a later start time would assist in this.
- Reestablishing and reemphasizing S.T.E.A.M. as a basis. Many now use a base of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S.T.E.M.)… but what about the Arts? S.T.E.A.M. is a way to bring the Arts back to the base core of educational goals. It has been recently shown that Art and creative fields allow children to become more proficient at problem solving and thinking creatively helps individuals develop an “outside-the-box” mentality. When creative arts is included into a child’s core education, they become more innovative. I want to cultivate that creativity by implementing S.T.E.A.M. across the board.
- Bring back Vocational programs in all public high schools. Vocational studies include: Woodshop, Plumbing, Metal Working, Auto Mechanics and Electrical maintenance courses. When an emphasis was placed on college completion, trades began to suffer. There are more opportunities for work in trades today than in any other industry in America. We need to give choices to each student to allow them to become the best citizen that they can be… and that doesn’t always involve college. public school was never meant to be a gateway to college… it was meant to be a way to educate each child in our communities about how to be a contributing member of our society. Vocational courses allow for this more broadly.
- To allocate more time for the arts and for vocational studies in public schools, we need to rethink block scheduling. I think that shortening courses from 90 minutes each to 45 or even 50 minutes each would allow more room for these courses to be implemented into a students day. Going back to periods over blocks is one way to allow for a more diversified class schedule. If a course is a lab or a specialized class that needs more time allocated, then that students schedule would just double the periods time slots back to back to increase the course to 90 minutes from 45 minutes. This type of scheduling increases the students opportunities for electives and allows for the inclusion of creative arts and vocational courses to be brought back into the core curriculum.
- I want to give more power back to the administrators and teachers with regards to discipline. Students must be held accountable for their actions and not hold administrations hostage because they know that they are basically a dollar sign for schools and how they receive money. I want to do this by incorporating a base amount of money that every school receives. Schools with larger communities would receive more money based on the area’s population. The amount given to a school would no longer be based on taxable income of that community.
This type of funding, based on taxable income, discriminates against lower income communities and over-values wealthier communities. Meaning, some low income communities receive less money than a wealthier community even though they may double the population size of the wealthier community. This is discriminatory at it’s core and doesn’t allow for low income schools to properly staff or equip it’s schools. Part of this allocation of funds would be used to repair damaged or outdated infrastructure for every school. There would be no “case-by-case” basis for fixing the infrastructure as each school would receive “fix-it” funds at the exact same time. Old water pipe-lines, walls, ceilings, floors, roofing and landscaping would be included in these “fit-it” funds, among others. All of this would be possible with the now evenly dispersed monies without raising an areas taxes and without borrowing from the state.
Our district, district 2, is the least educated district in the state. We can beat this by giving our kids more options without limiting them to private or charter schools. By making our public educational systems more complete and redistributing funds more fairly, we can do it without raising areas taxes. To me, this is a bipartisan win.