Basic Position: We need to restore and enhance public education, from
pre-school through college.
Overview: As President of a school board responsible for a K-12 (kindergarten to 12th grade) school district, I've learned a lot about how our public schools are governed and all-too-frequently misgoverned.
It is important to understand that most policies for public schools are made at the state level, in our case by the California legislature. To make a particular public school better you need good employees and parents working with a good school board. To make all the schools in California better we need change at the state level.
As your Congress person, I would try to separate what little good the federal government currently does for our schools from the mainly negative effects it has. For example, there are far more negative effects from the No Child Left Behind legislation than there are positive effects.
I favor full federal funding of the costs imposed on public schools by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. This alone would have had a far healthier effect on our schools than No Child Left Behind, which bosses schools around but provides little funding for the changes it imposes.
I would introduce a bill to consolidate all federal funding for schools into a single block grant. All paperwork for federal funds should consist of a single affidavit that the school is spending the money for its intended purposes. (Every school in the country wastes untold hours of precious employee time dealing with Federal paperwork).
Once that is done, I would fight for diverting federal dollars to our public schools.
I don't think the Federal government should tell teachers how to teach or communities how to run their schools. Every community is different; goose-stepping to a tune written by Federal government is not going to produce better-educated students.