Our Agenda for Change
Student and parent advocate Kathy Jordan developed this four-point plan to create positive change within the School District:
be strong for students
We believe that every student should receive an excellent education in a safe and welcoming environment that respects diversity in all forms.
Parents have the right to expect that their child can attend our public schools where:
- Every student receives an excellent education and experience, where students' academic, social, emotional, and developmental needs are met.
- Every student learns in an environment free from discrimination, bullying, intimidation, and harassment.
- Every student with a disability or learning the English language receives the support they need to thrive.
- Every student receives the benefits of the law to which they are entitled, including, but not limited to:
- Minimum mandated instructional minutes
- Anti-discrimination laws
- Special Education and disability laws
- Every student receives an outstanding education that is cost effectively delivered and aims for continuous improvement.
Every child in our school system should have safe access to the quality education they deserve.
spend dollars responsibly
We believe that every taxpayer has the right to expect that its elected School Board members will manage their tax dollars responsibly and will oversee School District spending.
Every Palo Alto resident has the right to expect the School District to:
- Live within its means, where revenues will exceed expenses.
- End avoidable, costly administrative errors - such as the loss of $6 million in the 2017–2018 school year and an unforeseen $3.7 million budget deficit in the 2016-2017 school year.
- Comply with all laws – thus avoiding costly legal expenses and settlements, such as $1 million extra spent for legal services in the 2017-2018 school year due to non-compliance.
- Recognize that property taxes can be unpredictable - and develop prudent budgets and contingency plans.
Our School Board members and our School District must manage our taxpayer dollars responsibly and respectfully and be held accountable when they fail to do so.
achieve academic excellence
We believe that providing an excellent academic education for our children in a safe, welcoming environment must be the top priority for PAUSD.
Parents have the right to expect that their child can attend our public schools where every student:
- Reaches their full potential, including challenging classes for academically advanced students, electives, and extracurriculars.
- Receives support if they are struggling so they can stay on track and excel.
- Benefits from an outstanding education that is cost effectively delivered while aiming for continuous improvement.
- Benefits from the best experience possible, where students' academic, social, emotional, and developmental needs are met.
- Learns in a safe, welcoming environment that puts students first, focused on their well-being and on their workload.
Many of us chose to make Palo Alto our home in large part because of the high quality public education, and we must nurture, protect and retain that academic excellence.
build trust and accountability
We believe that every Palo Alto resident has the right to be fully informed about their public school district's operations, which must effectively educate our students.
Every Palo Alto resident has the right to expect that the School Board will:
- Ensure the Board and the District are transparent and accountable to the community – act in the public's interest as the trustees of a public school district.
- Oversee the School District's operations and oversee its performance in educating our students – understand that impartial data on performance can lead to improved outcomes.
- Examine and reflect on all of our students' performance, including the most vulnerable - understand that the District must serve all students.
- Require that PAUSD comply with all laws, especially those designed to protect our children - understand that compliance is not optional, and is cheaper.
- Enforce accountability – understand that actions have consequences and accountability is critical.
A public school district is responsible to its community and we expect our School Board's actions to reflect this fundamental tenet. Governing with this principle in mind will help to re-establish trust with the people of Palo Alto.
Why I'm Running
A Strong, independent voice for our community
I care about our children and our community. These are our children.
I decided I had to become more involved after recent events --- when the school district mishandled two sexual assaults at Palo Alto High School and subsequently made a mistake that cost us $6 million.
I’ve witnessed a breakdown in trust between the school district and the community. Students have been harmed, laws ignored, and tax dollars misspent. We deserve better.
Our students must come first. They must receive the protections they are entitled to under the law. Our tax dollars must be managed responsibly.
As a parent of two children, and as someone who has lived in Palo Alto for 25 years, I believe that our children deserve an excellent education in a school district that is fiscally responsible and abides by the law.
The events of the past few years highlight why change is needed on our school board and in our school district. I will help make that change, and I hope you’ll join me.