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VOTE411 Voter Guide

School Board District 1

The nine-member Board of Education is the governing body of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, with five primary responsibilities: 1. Employ the superintendent 2. Establish policy 3. Determine annual operating and capital budgets 4. Approve student assignment boundaries 5. Oversee the management of the school district’s major systems, including budget and finance, curriculum and instruction, personnel and auxiliary servicesThe CMS Board of Education includes six district representatives and three at-large representatives. District and at-large representatives are elected every two years on a rotating schedule. All members serve four-year terms.
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
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    Annette Albright (N) Behavior Modification Technician

  • Amy Moon Hallman (WITHDREW) (N)

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    Rhonda Lennon (N) Registered Nurse

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    Jess Miller (N) Educator

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Biographical Information

Do you have, or have you had in the past, children in the Charlotte Mecklenburg School system?

Do you support the school bond referendum on the ballot this election? Why or why not?

Are there any problems specific to your district that you want to address if elected? Please explain.

Please reflect on the goals of the student assignment plan to reduce concentrations of poverty and suggest what cooperative actions you would like to see the Board champion to further advance the goals.

How important do you feel the pre-kindergarten experience is, and what role does (or should) local government play?

Our neighborhoods and schools are largely segregated by race and socioeconomic status. Do schools with high concentrations of poverty need additional programs to help students succeed? If so, can you suggest programs that have evidence of success?

English Language Learners (ESLs) are now a significant percentage of the school population and also a high percentage of the drop-outs. What programs would you recommend to support those students as they are enrolled and as they progress through the system?

What do you see as the pluses and minuses of charter schools?

Why should or shouldn't public funds go to private schools?

Position/philosophy statement Every child will have access to a quality education if we embrace "no school left behind."
Current occupation Behavior Modification Technician ProCure Therapeutic Agency
Age 51
Campaign Phone (980) 322-9631
Campaign email votealbright@gmail.com
Twitter @albrightinez1
Yes
CMS Board of Education has not proven to be a good steward of public dollars. Many residents, not only in District 1 but districts all over the county, have strongly stated that bond money has not been distributed fairly nor adequately leaving many schools in very poor condition.
Yes, I want to eliminate all Title 1 schools in District 1 by creating strong neighborhood schools.
The goals of the student assignment plan to reduce concentration of poverty will serve to be ineffective; the plan only affects 10% of the students within CMS. Instead of trying to create diversity and break up concentrations of poverty, CMS should focus on creating high performing schools in every neighborhood and every district. Studies have shown for a school system as large as CMS, a goal of breaking up high concentrations of poverty is not attainable. Create stronger performing schools.
Children that live in high poverty areas are typically academically behind their peers when entering kindergarten. Pre-k programs are extremely valuable . Local government should support pre-k programs but also implement ways to monitor and measure the success of such programs.
I believe that each school needs to be looked at to determine how to meet the needs of the students within the particular school. Not all high poverty students can be defined by one set of characteristics. There are some students who attend high poverty schools that have strong parent engagement and have been involved in early learning so what they need is AP courses.
While working at CMS, what I found to be a barrier for a large portion of ESLs was finding teachers who could speak their language of origin while keeping them engaged in the educational process. The programs that I would recommend would be for teachers and staff geared toward cultural competency.
A big plus of charter schools is that parents who are not satisfied with public school have choices. The addition of charter schools has also made public schools become more vigilant in improving the educational services they provide. A negative for me is the flight from public schools.
No, I don't feel that public funds should go to private schools due to the fact that public schools embrace all regardless of race, sex, or religious beliefs. Whereas, private schools do not have to comply with state anti-discrimination laws therefore they should not receive tax funding.
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Position/philosophy statement I believe in being a positive voice for change. Identify concerns, Find Solutions, Get Results!
Current occupation Certified Nurse Case Manager specializing in workers compensation
Age 56
Campaign Phone (704) 564-3382
Campaign email rhonda28078@gmail.com
Twitter @rhondalennon
Yes, 2 NMHS Alums, 1 currently attending Hough HS
No, while the capital needs are very real and pressing, I don't believe this is the correct ranking of projects. The current RUBRIC doesn't properly assess needs. If the bond fails, the BOCC can use fund balance or COPS to meet the most urgent needs while a new capital list is thoughtfully developed
1. Growth with little capital investment for new schools- after a slump in new construction post-recession, all parts of D1 are seeing big increases in new housing, both single family and multi family. This will lead to a severe overcrowding crisis. 2. Lack of magnet and choice options- D1 had only 2 magnets when I was first elected, it is 7 now but far short of optimal in terms of meeting the needs of individual students. 3. Charter school competition- #1 & 2 must be addressed to compete
I have been and will continue to be a vocal supporter of a neighborhood based student assignment plan. CMS must keep a strong neighborhood student assignment plan, with a rich array of magnet choices throughout the county. I will continue to work with my colleagues and with staff to make sure that every school in every zip code is academically successful and provides a safe learning environment.
Early childhood education is essential is starting all children on a level playing field. Equally important is early childhood health and nutrition. Both are essential is developing the social, emotional and academic health in children. I do support Pre-k initiatives at the state and county level
The most important factor influencing academic success is the presence of an adult in every child’s life to mentor and shepherd a child on their academic journey. We must continue to build community partnerships with successful organizations like Big Brother/Big Sisters, Goodwill CLAY, YMCA Learners , North Star Literacy Initiative and others so that every student is reached.
CMS must be prepared to meet the challenges of a growing diverse student population. As a board member, my role is to support staff as they fully vet programs and determine which are most effective; not to make curriculum decisions for our staff.
Charter schools provide competition to our traditionally funded public schools. Currently the playing field is NOT level, they operate with different rules and mandates. I continue to lobby for all publicly funded schools to operate with the same state rules, regulations and statutes.
I do not support public funding going to private schools unless the schools are subject to the same state rules and mandates as traditionally funded schools.
Position/philosophy statement The #JessforCMS campaign is all about equity and excellence for all kids.
Current occupation Education Consultant and Community Organizer
Age 34
Campaign Phone (704) 808-0385
Campaign email JessforCMS@gmail.com
Twitter @JessforCMS
YouTube video
Not my own children but extended family is in CMS.
I followed this process closely over the past 2 years & do not feel that this is the right package for our community right now. The process includes too much subjectivity, faulty metrics, & politics. With a new Supt and Strategic Plan, we must ensure the vision is clear & align the $1B spending.
We don't have to look further than District 1 to see the need for greater equity in CMS, but in District 1 we also see the immeasurable potential our students have when we expect and prepare them for excellence. I also believe that District 1 can be the model for what partnerships between charter schools and CMS can look like. Finally, we need better communication and collaboration between the District and the town governments to manage growth and provide excellent service.
The real issue here is that school boundaries exacerbate instead of mitigate patterns of residential segregation. Let’s partner on affordable housing. As a community organizer I know folks across our community are having these difficult conversations in churches, book clubs, neighborhood associations, & forums. In Phase 2 of student assignment the District did NOT tap into community leaders & organizers enough & as a result I believe that we missed out on an opportunity to have a bigger impact.
We know that the opportunity gap begins before students enter Kindergarten and the research is clear on the impact of PreK. Our local government should do everything in its power to ensure access to high quality PreK for every child. CMS must partner with the County to ensure program alignment.
Most of my 13 years in education has been in schools with high concentrations of poverty so I know what is possible when we have high expectations for all kids. We need trauma informed schools with wraparound services & authentic, 2-way school-community engagement. Teachers & leaders must be trained in strategies like Restorative Justice & culturally responsive teaching and relevant curriculum.
ELL students need equitable access to high quality teachers, including ESL specialists, instructionally appropriate and culturally relevant curriculum, fair discipline, and 21st Century facilities. We must also improve community outreach that meets families where they are in the language they speak.
Charter schools provide families with a choice of educational environments, but we need more equitable access to those opportunities. As someone with charter school & traditional public school experience I know partnerships between the schools in our community would benefit all kids.
Public funds should stay in public schools. Taxpayer money from the people should not go to educational institutions that are allowed to discriminate against students or staff, nor institutions that don’t honor the separation of church and state.

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