HARRIS COUNTY AFL-CIO COUNCIL

1.  What background, education and/or training do you have that would prepare you to serve on the

      School Board?

 I am a recently retired teacher from the district. I taught middle school and high school for 30 years. I have experience with the rules/laws of several secondary education departments, such as; General Education Science, Special Education Behavior Adjustment Class (Emotionally Disturbed) and co-teacher of high school English, federally funded position (RTI) Response to Intervention Specialist, and teacher of high school English and Reading for (SOL)Students of Other Languages (ESL newcomer program and beginner/intermediate).

I look forward to developing and improving a business point of view to balance with my “educator” point of view.

2.  List in order, what you see as the major issues facing your School District.

  1. What type of legislation should your School District support and NOT support in the next session of the Texas Legislature?

4.  Will you support teachers in the removal of disruptive students under state law?

        Yes, based on an individual basis and what the alternatives are.

5.  What are your views on maintenance and security issues in your schools?

        

6.  What improvements do you think should be made in salaries and fringe benefits for all school

     personnel?

  1. Would you support or oppose a Legislative Proposal permitting "collective  bargaining" for

      public employees, in this case school employees, provided there is no right to strike and

      providing a fair system for fact finding?

Difficult area to discuss because I believe the employees do not see the ‘whole picture.’ In addition, attitudes have changed from personal gratification to money.

I definitely have many opinions and comments on this subject.

  1. Would you support allowing school employees to elect an exclusive representative through an

       employee consultation process?

I do not lean to the support side as I feel these types of elections are popularity contests.

  1. As a School Board Member, you have the legal authority to grant voluntary "check-off" for

      employee programs, such as payment to the credit union, life insurance and the United Way

      contributions.  Would you also favor allowing "check-off" for voluntary union dues payments?

        

I believe in individual choice.

10. What are your views on class size?

        This district has worked to keep class sizes down. I am aware that class size is different for different levels and curriculum and this is extremely important for the learning environment of the student. Depending on each school’s clientele, class size should be adjusted to meet student needs and teacher classroom management needs. Unfortunately, the larger the class the less differentiated instruction.

  1. List in order or priority any areas in which spending can be reduced without adversely

      affecting the educational process.

  1. The U.S. Department of Labor establishes the "Prevailing Wage Rates" for  construction

      workers after a survey in each major urban area and these rates are used on all federal projects.

      These Federal rates require contractors to pay construction workers health insurance and

      pension benefits. Would you support adopting these rates for your school district construction

      projects?                

This requires research and Board discussion. First thought is that this is the independent contractors’ decision.                

13. Arbitration is a well accepted procedure where parties to a dispute agree to present their

      arguments to mutually agreed upon third party.  The arbitrator (professionally trained) hears

      both sides and renders a decision based upon the facts of the dispute.  "Binding arbitration"

      occurs when both parties agree to accept the arbitrator's findings.  Do you support arbitration?

        Yes, professionally trained and neutral. Independently hired.

14. Do you support the efforts to curtail violence in the schools and a zero tolerance policy?

        I would support these efforts if the policy is consistent among administrators, teachers, and individual students.

15. What is your position on "contracting out" or "privatization" in regards to jobs held and

      performed by school district employees?

        Breaking the school body apart into independently run businesses would jeopardize the communication between schools and communities.

16. What is your position regarding vouchers to be used by students to attend private schools?                I am a strong advocate for my school district. All schools have strengths and weaknesses and vouchers are misleading. Presently, a person may transfer to another school in the district that earns a better ‘report card’, but the criteria used for the report card is not always clear to a person not involved in education. A private school is even harder to rate because it does not follow the same guidelines as a public school and it does not always offer a better education.

17. What organizations or groups are supporting you?

        Independent, unless you count friends and students who like me :)

Generally, many people have commented the need to include an experienced classroom teacher and support that concept.

18. Would you support a school board Policy that would require that any company that benefits

      from District taxpayer dollars (contracts, lease agreements, tax abatements or any other

      subsidy) pay its employees at least a livable minimum wage and provide health insurance and

      pension benefits to its employees?

        Not enough information on the subject, especially since this could be an area of concern within the school district for paraprofessionals and lay-workers.

       

19. Would you support a requirement that all construction contractors and subcontractors

      employee Apprentices registered with the U. S. Department of Labor’s Bureau  of Apprentice

      and Training (BAT) on school district construction projects?

        Need more information on the subject.

20. What are your views on the role of labor unions in society?

        Unions have a place in society to ensure fair treatment to workers.

(March 2015)