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VOTE411 Voter Guide

School Board District 3

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
  • Candidate picture

    Janeen Bryant (N) Consultant

  • Emmitt Terrell Butts (N)

  • Candidate picture

    Levester Flowers (N) Retired Bank Mortgage Loan Officer

  • Candidate picture

    Ruby M. Jones (N) Retired Educator

  • Candidate picture

    Blanche Penn (N) Retired- Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation

  • Candidate picture

    Olivia Scott (N) Co director at Beginning Years Daycare Center

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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 Zip codes should not determine destiny
Current occupation Museum and educational consulting
Age 34
Campaign Phone (704) 879-5152
Campaign email bryantforcms@gmail.com
Twitter @TeamJaneen
A daughter who now goes to a CMS middle school
Yes. Our schools need support and investment from the community. While there may be ways that we can better target funding in the future, I think this bond begins some worthwhile work.
Recruitment of highly qualified teachers to the district so they can help the students of District 3. Teachers have such a large impact on the educational trajectories of students, I think our schools and the entire community would benefit from having a great selection of leaders in all of our classrooms. Also, the completion of an equity assessment to make sure that we realize where and what the greatest needs are for our many schools--be that building improvements, supplies or programming, etc
Concentrations of poverty in our schools and community cannot be handled at the school level alone. Cooperative actions like collaborations with the city and county on affordable housing options in Charlotte are needed. This will also require working with our state representatives to see how state level restrictions might be eased. The Board will also need community partnerships to create wraparound services, more magnet strategies, and inter-neighborhood convenings to encourage more interaction
As a former kindergarten teacher, I know students need a strong foundation before beginning school. PreK provides the basis of strong academic success and a chance for socialization. Local government should prioritize preK, ensure quality preK programs exist, and supply funding to make it accessible
Yes. CMS was once the model of providing these but we can look around country for others now. The Harlem Children’s Zone is an exemplar of wraparound services that address issues related to concentrations of poverty. Restorative justice programs in Chicago and New York provide alternatives to suspension, and the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta is an exemplar of cultural competence in teachers.
More bilingual programs that allow students to learn core material in a familiar language while they learn English (these can be virtual). Programs that provide peer support and cultural education for teachers to help students feel a part of their school. Support and relationships change outcomes.
Pluses: charters can be hubs of innovation, serving as models to pilot interventions and healthy competition for public schools. Minuses: accountability: like transparency in teacher hiring and disciplinary actions on par with public schools, as well as budgeting practices to provide stability
Public funds should not go to private schools. Public schools are a contract to provide a free education to all students; private schools should be privately funded since our public schools need to keep all available resources to best support and educate the students served by them.
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Position/philosophy statement All students in CMS deserve to have a world class education. It's the way to upward mobility!
Current occupation Retired
Age 68
Campaign Phone (704) 968-3391
Campaign email lnf_2000@yahoo.com
Yes, two children.
Yes, we have a lot of schools school that are at over capacity. Also, there ave several schools that are in need of basic repairs. Finally, in order to carry out the district's mission of new and enhanced magnet schools and prepare for population growth, we need to have additional facilities.
Yes, there are several beacon initiative schools in district 3. These are schools that have received D & F failing grades. I want to come up with new career plans for students at these schools. Also, I would like for school administrators to incoporate the concept of individualized curriculum into classroom lesson planning, I would like the idea of a safe and orderly school environment be mandatory. Parents must be held accountable for their child's behavior.
The board, for the most part, did a good job on the new student assignment plan. However, there are still several schools where the majority of students are not functioning on grade level in math and reading. A orderly school environement must be obtained in all these schools. Secondly, students in these schools should be counseled and given realistic career paths starting in the 7th grade. Finally, students should be encourgaed to apply for appropriate magnet programs on a individual basis.
The pre-kindergarten experience is very important and local government should be willing to step up and assist in funding these programs. This is the first step in making sure at risk students "hit the ground running". All students should be testing on grade level in their core subjects.
Yes, programs such as reading volunteers and math mentors have proven to be effective. Also, pre-kindergarten has proven to be successful. Additonally, counselors and social workers made available at challenged schools have proven to be a valuable resource. Finally, newly planned after school programs will be useful to reenforce daily classroom learning.
There needs to be a adequate amount of ESL tutors in all schools. Also, the core curriculum should incorporate subject matter that are beneficial to this population of students.
A plus of charter schools is the opportunity for students to have smalller classroom settings. A minus would be the fact there often are not many extracurricular activities, especially in music and sports. Transportation issues, likewise, often pose problems.
I feel that public funds should primarily go to private schools. However, vouchers on a limited is ok. It does give parents options in particular academic situations.
Position/philosophy statement I believe that all children should receive an excellent education-academic, social and emotional.
Current occupation CMS Board of Education-District 3
Age 68
Campaign Phone (704) 570-1763
Twitter @RubyMJonesEdc
Yes, I have two daughters that attended CMS.
I staunchly support the school bonds. Visits to campuses with obsolete infrastructure, dilapidated and overcrowded buildings inform my decision.

While not unique to my District, I would like to continue to advocate for more holistic instruction and mentoring programs.
I would like to see the city and county officials take ownership of this problem along with CMS. Affordable housing across Mecklenburg!
Pre-K is foundational and imperative. Mandatory parent classes for young mothers and fathers who receive public assistance. Many do not know how to parent.
See above. A program in Durham that partnered with the Housing Authority has been beneficial.
Unfortunately, many of these students attend high poverty schools that have many underachieving students and few students who can serve as role models to acclimate these students to higher levels of performance. I vave met with Hispanic parent in my "Conversational Chats" across the county.
The plus is that they ultimately get to decide what students to accept and what students to keep! Having worked with quite a few charters, they often do not do schooling as well as traditional public. Parents admire the high behavioral norms and safety of charters, also a feeling of belonging.
Should not for the reasons of separatism, elitism, and lack of accountability. Rich private schools are usually good with rich kids whose parents can pay.
Position/philosophy statement “ A child needs direction and if the direction is clear the child will succeed.”
Current occupation Retired
Age 66
Campaign Phone (704) 890-4101
Campaign email info@voteforpenn.org
Twitter @voteforpenn
YouTube video
Yes, I had four children to graduate from CMS.
Yes, I feel that it addresses the need to relieve CMS schools of overcrowding. The bonds will provide new and renovated classrooms for more than 20,000 students in the community. The bonds also support new schools and renovations and additions made to some of the districts oldest schools.
I am passionate about; the high numbers of suspensions for our students. Children are missing valuable school time when they are out of school and parents are missing time from work. I believe that CMS needs an action plan to resolve these ongoing concerns. One suggested solution would be to enhance parent involvement in all schools.
I would like to see an equal distribution of school supplies and equipment in all schools such as books, computers, sports, software, 21st-century libraries, and supplies for teachers. I believe that diversifying our student population enhances performance. I also believe that diversifying our student population renders more favorable learning environments and will attract more qualified teachers.
Pre-Kindergarten experience is important in all CMS schools because it gives the children a head start on their education. The pre-kindergarten experience is important to poor and disadvantaged children as they have the most to gain from the experience of pre-kindergarten.
We need to search out any programs that will enhance the staff and students. Low-performing students require additional assistance such as counselors, health care workers, social workers, nurses and resources officers. Research shows that programs such as Community In Schools, The Bell, Greater Enrichment, and Bridges are a few programs proven to enhance education among poverty stricken students.
The “LIEP services are provided at all schools, including magnet schools. Teachers use the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) English Language Development standards to plan and deliver instruction.
Charter Schools provide smaller class sizes, a specific focus, and provides a smaller setting that can be easier for parents to access assistance from leadership. The minuses can include, difficulties attracting students, acquiring school supplies and equipment, funding transportation and meals.
I believe that this will be a debate for years to come should or shouldn’t public funds go to private school? I do not believe that public funds should go to private schools. I believe that public funds should go into public schools.
Position/philosophy statement Children are the future. It is time to stop limiting them by showing them the power possess inside.
Current occupation Co director at Beginning Years Daycare Center.
Age 25
Campaign Phone (704) 564-9587
I am CMS educated.
Yes-I want our schools to continuously progress towards equality across the board.
Equity in education does not mean equality. The teachers in my schools feel unsupported, the overall environment of some the schools in my district are inherently uninviting and dreary places for "children" to feel comfortable in, we have a lack of parental involvement and a culture of ignorance that is plaguing our youth because they have not been taught how to see the greatness they harbor. These issues contribute to our schools not reaching their full potential and I will change that.
I support CMS's initiative to break up concentrations of poverty but I wish it encompassed all schools in CMS. In order to further advance the goal of reducing concentrations of poverty, I would encourage CMS to have more activities that bring students and parents from mixed environments together.
Data supports pre-kindergarten being vital to the success of young children. I believe our local government should continue to be involved in the early childcare experience by making sure that it is available for "everyone" regardless of there socioeconomic status.
We do not need anymore programs that do not benefit students longterm. We need to change the culture of our schools altogether by teaching our students additional skills pertinent to what they know in order to be successful.
We should partner with local organizations to get these students mentors throughout their educational experience. I would also recommend connecting ESLs to other ESLs in CMS through an online portal so they have a consistent support network of people who know exactly what they are going through.
Charter schools are great because they have more creative freedom and can be tailored to the needs of individual children but it is difficult to hold these schools and their management accountable for what the children are actually learning and how our tax dollars are being spent.
Public funds should not go to private schools because private schools have more freedom to collect money from outside sources.

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