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County School Trustee, Position 3, At-Large

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    Richard Cantu
    (Dem)

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    Marc Cowart
    (Rep)

Biographical Information

In your opinion, what are the 3 most valuable services currently being provided by the County Board of Education?

What specific, measurable goals do you hope to achieve during your term?

What do you believe is the appropriate role of the County School Board in making educational opportunities, from early childhood to adult, available and accessible in Harris County?

Education Masters - Public Administration, University of St. Thomas; B.A. - Political Science, University of Houston; A.A. - Government, Houston Community College
Experience Deputy Executive Director, East Aldine District, 2008 - present; Youth Development Manager, NCI, 2006-08; Director, Mayor's Citizens' Assistance Office, 2000-06, HPARD,1992-00
Community North Harris County Education Alliance, Aldine Education Foundation, Lone Star College Foundation, Greens Bayou Coalition, Northside Precinct Judges
Phone (346) 444-0626
Twitter @richcan2
Early Childhood Education, Afterschool Enrichment, and Adult Education: Over 1300 pre-school age children access Early Childhood Education at 15 Head Start Centers, while quality Afterschool Services are provided to almost 15,000 youth throughout Harris County. HCDE’s Adult Education division helps approximately 9000 adult learners obtain their GEDs and prepare for new careers.
1. Develop better access to Early Childhood Education for our families, so that more of our kids have a “head start”! 2. Expand partnerships that offer Afterschool Enrichment for our youth so that every kid that needs it has access. Our kids need more options for safe and engaging programs to keep them on the right track during afterschool hours. 3. Promote Adult Education opportunities, like GED and ESL, so workers can access better jobs by developing the necessary knowledge and skills.
The Harris County Department of Education is the county’s best kept secret, providing many vital services to the community and to the 25 area school districts it serves. The future success of our community and of our local and global economy depends upon how successful our early childhood education program prepares our children, how well our afterschool programs engage our teens, and how effectively we re-train and educate those adults that direly need a better paying job for their families.
Education Pearland High School (1985), San Jacinto College, Lone Star College, University of Houston (political science). Licensed insurance agent--Life/Health and Property and Casualty
Experience Responsible for Communications and Media Relations for the Harris Co District Clerk's Office. Past:Managing Editor Texas Conservative Review, President of The Cowart Group
Community Precinct Chairman/Election Judge in 3 different precincts over thirty years. Volunteer and staff on numerous campaigns, CFL blood donor, member Champion Forest Baptist Church
Phone (832) 713-6272
Twitter @MarcCowart
The 3 most valuable services provided by the HCDE are Adult Education, After School Programs and Educator Certification. Adult education, including GED, ESL and skills development programs, prepares adults to enter, re-enter or advance in the workplace. After school programs provide a safe environment where children can engage in activities that enhance their skills, improve grades and avoid negative influences. Educator certification is critical to transition aspiring teachers into education.
Vote for a sunset review to determine the need for the HCDE and whether some or all of its services should be outsourced, reduced, eliminated or streamlined to achieve greater efficiency for the taxpayers. As a conservative, I feel obligated to be a good steward of public funds and as such believe that services that are being delivered efficiently should be continued, but services that could be delivered better elsewhere, should be done so, even if that means eliminating the HCDE entirely.
The HCDE's role is to deliver unique, innovative and effective services that provide educational opportunities with ease of access to those who need it most. It also has a responsibility to deliver those services in a way that respects all stakeholders in the process, from students to teachers and ultimately the taxpayers who provide the means of support. Unfortunately, the HCDE has fallen short of that ideal in the past and must be held to a higher standard in the future.