Three “debates” were held in the last month for the
Novato Unified School District candidates. I participated in all three and thank the League of Women Voters, the School Fuel Foundation and MarinKids for their sponsorship. Also, the Marin IJ interviewed five of the six candidates to make their decision for endorsement. I was there and got good press:
One of the candidates for Novato school board has no children in the district's schools. He has only lived in Novato for a few years.
But Jeffrey Vaillant has done Novato residents and our democratic process a favor by running and forcing four incumbents, two of whom were named to fill vacancies, to engage local voters and run campaigns.
Without Vaillant, incumbents Cindi Clinton, Ross Millerick, Tom Cooper and Debbie Butler would not have had to answer questions about the school board's decision
to close Hill Middle School, possible boundary changes and what those moves might mean to the district's other campuses ….Vaillant has been running, doing his homework and weighing in on issues facing the district.
In a nutshell, the principle issue for me is school
financing. I want to be on the board (for one term only) to do all that is possible to convince our legislators in
Sacramento to change the laws as they relate to education funding. Here is one response that reflects a State
Senator who is not taking responsibility for education rather passing the buck to the Governor:
Here is a response I received from State Senator Mark Leno:
Thank you for contacting my office regarding the funding cuts to K-12 education. I appreciate your taking the time to voice your opinion on this important issue.
California continues to face an unprecedented fiscal crisis and as a result there are many difficult choices to be made. My goal as your representative in the Senate, and that of my Democratic colleagues in Sacramento, is to pass a budget that is consistent with our fiscal reality, but does not further negatively impact the educational needs of our students.
Fortunately, in his latest budget the Governor has proposed to restore funding to education that he has withheld in the past. I commit to holding him accountable to his commitment to restore the funding which will allow our students access to a quality education, to enhance the quality of life of our residents and to improve the economy of California.
It seems to me that Senator Leno needs to be held accountable as do the other legislators. It will be my job as a Board member to convince the Legislature to change the laws.
A corollary concern I have is how the limited resources
of the NUSD are handled. I think the Superintendent and staff need to be held to the highest standards financially
and other ways AND the Board must set the example by its actions. It is my observation that the Board expectations
are low. Yes, when I am on the Board I will expect the staff to work to the highest standards.
There are numerous other issues that concern me that
limited space here hampers full development such as are expected in upper management positions in corporations. I have expressed my views in the “debates” and in response to the dialogue at the Novato Patch.
Your support with a vote for me is most appreciated.
Thank you, Jeffrey Lee Vaillant