Disability Justice

As a mom with three kids in 4J schools, I’ve seen first-hand the difficulties families have experienced in getting access to meaningful special education services – and the negative impact that lack of services have on children. 

I will support policies that:

  • Foster greater collaboration between district officials and parents of special needs students, including involvement of neuro-diverse adults in policy making. Collaboration will make accessing special education services less adversarial and ensure privilege is not a factor in getting services.
  • Support children with disabilities proactively, rather than waiting until children are already failing. If children are succeeding with support services, we should reinforce what is helping, rather than using success as a reason to remove these services.
  • Prioritize relationship-based interventions for children with disabilities.
  • Identify neuro-diversity training and identification using updated models for girls and children of color, who tend to receive fewer diagnoses and fewer services, in part because models are now based on outdated standards. 
  • Increase the retention and availability of educational aides to help students with disabilities integrate and succeed in the classrooms.

Racial and Social Equity

As an attorney, I’ve seen first-hand the impact of disciplinary action and criminalization of behavior in schools, particularly with students of color and those with disabilities. 

I will support policies that:

  • Create accountability for removing racial bias in school disciplinary measures.
  • Use a curriculum that honors the histories and cultures of people of color and indigenous peoples.  
  • Help to engage, retain and promote diverse leaders who can be role models to our students.
  • Provide a safe and supportive environment for all students, including LGBTQ+ students.

Student Success

The pandemic resulted in a learning loss for most students, but even more for those who already faced learning challenges.  We need to equip our schools with the tools to help all of our students succeed.

I will support policies that:

  • Ensure that our children have the tools and resources for literacy, including reading supports for K-3, training reading interventionists to identify struggling readers, and reading supports for older students.
  • Ensure that our children have the tools and resources to succeed in other subjects, including math, history and science.
  • Support libraries and librarians in the schools.

Mental Health and Social-Emotional Supports

We must address children’s developmental needs rather than just focusing on their behavior. We must value social-emotional skills as an essential part of our education system. 

I will support policies that:

  • Give greater mental health support to children – critical after three years of COVID.
  • Provide more mental health training for staff.
  • Hire more counselors to address behavioral issues stemming from PTSD, anxiety, depression or other trauma.

Career Technical Education

Career Technical Education (CTE) provides students with valuable life skills, knowledge and training, while benefiting our communities.  

I will support policies that:

  • Encourage programs that give students hands-on work experience, on-the-job training, apprenticeships and industry certification opportunities.
  • Collaborate with Lane Community College and other school districts to expand dual credit programs, CTE opportunities, and access to AA and community college transfer options.

Educator and Staff Supports

We must find ways to better support our educators and staff, because they are essential in ensuring that our public education system is successful.

I will support policies that:

  • Give educators more autonomy and decision-making, allowing for less mandatory standardized testing and more teacher-driven content and assessments.
  • Work to decrease class sizes and case loads, so that students, educators and staff have the supports and resources to help their students succeed.
  • Invest in training and mentoring our educators and staff so that they have the tools they need to succeed.

Accessibility and Communication

We need to make our system more accessible for parents to provide meaningful input about their students’ experiences.  

I will support policies that:

  • Explore ways of having the Board’s work better communicated to the community.
  • Provide new ways for the community to get involved in policy-making and providing input.
  • Ensure that the Board is acting honestly and transparently in carrying out their duties as elected officials.
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