“What do you see as the three most important (long term or short term) issues facing public education, specifically in Coronado Unified School District?”
The three most important issues facing our district are returning our students safely to full-time in person learning, improving our finances to guarantee the long term solvency of the district, and increasing the number of graduating seniors eligible for enrollment into the UC and Cal State systems.
Our number one priority has to be safely getting our kids back in school. Distance learning from home does not provide them with the depth and breadth of in person education and it deprives them of social interaction with their peers. Many of our elementary students have returned to part time in-person learning, but this is still only 12 hours per week. Our upper grades have just begun returning to school in phases. This is a positive move for our students and we need to continue in this direction. As a community, we need to continue accelerating getting our kids back into classrooms in a way that protects our students.
Our second priority is to ensure the long term success and improvement of our schools. I wrote extensively on this topic last week, but my primary thesis is that we cannot bank on obtaining Basic Aid status by 2026 - we must enact reforms on both the revenue and the expense side in order to run a balanced budget while still maintaining the high quality of our schools.
Finally, our third priority must be improving our rate of college eligible high school seniors. Last year, 40% of our graduating seniors were not eligible to attend the UC or Cal State schools. While I don’t believe we’ll ever get this number down to zero (not all kids are destined for college), we should make it a goal to cut that number in the upcoming school years. Through increased outreach, peer tutoring, inclusive classrooms, and community support, we can do a better of job of opening up opportunities for a higher percentage of our students.