Trustee, Area 2, Ventura County Board of Education, miketeasdale.com
I believe every child needs to have a fighting chance to follow their dreams and achieve their goals. I have, for the last four years, and will continue, if re-elected, to advocate so that our children, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or socio-economic level, have the education that fits their needs so they can reach their potential. My four years of experience in the role of Trustee on the County Board of Education gives me the knowledge to focus my efforts on the biggest gaps in our current education system: special education funding, career education, as well as an increasingly large teacher shortage.
The county board of education offers services and manages schools for foster children, kids with emotional or behavioral problems, kids in court schools, migrant children, kids with moderate or severe disabilities, as well as kids with autism. Increased funding for kids with disabilities and career technical education is key to giving all of these kids more choice for their studies and being better prepared to get a job when they graduate if they do not go on to college. I intend to continue my efforts to get the funding needed, so kids are well served. For the last two years, I have led a statewide group that has advocated for more funding for Career Education (CA). Our efforts were successful as the allocation to CVUSD doubled in the latest budget year and increased all over the county. I will continue this effort as my career in industry has shown me the benefits of a skill to help our kids earn a living wage.
When the federal government passed legislation mandating appropriate education for kids with disabilities, it promised 40 percent of the funding for these services. It is providing under 10 percent. My efforts in Washington, D.C., and in our state capital will continue. I want to get our lawmakers to ensure our government lives up to its promise. Greater funding from the State happened last year, but we need to continue efforts to help our local school systems shoulder this expense, which impacts the resources available for all students. For career education, my goal is to increase the number of career pathways so our kids can get good jobs when they leave high school or community college. The lack of career education options is one of the big gaps in our educational system. To encourage more people to become teachers, we need to multiply the ways to get a certification. This should include work-study programs and loans for future teachers.