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Philomath School District 17J Director Position 3

Special districts in Oregon are formed to govern specific resources. Examples are people’s utility districts, library districts, sewer districts, irrigation districts, ports and cemetery districts. Some districts get revenue only from taxes. Others, such as water districts, get revenue from ratepayers. Others may combine the two sources. Each district is governed by a board of directors which is responsible for the operation of the district and its financial accountability. ( https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/198.010 ) Qualifications: Candidate must be a registered voter and a resident of the district for 1 year. Employees of the district are not eligible unless employed as a substitute driver. ORS 332.016 and 332.018(2)Salary: A member of the governing body of a district may receive an amount not to exceed $50 for each day or portion thereof as compensation for services performed as a member of the governing body. Such compensation shall not be deemed lucrative. The governing body may provide for reimbursement of a member for actual and reasonable traveling and other expenses necessarily incurred by a member in performing official duties. [1971 c.403 §2; 1983 c.327 §2; 1983 c.740 §53a; 1989 c.517 §1; 1995 c.79 §74] In event of Vacancy: Except as otherwise provided by law, a vacancy in an elected office in the membership of the governing body of a district shall be filled by appointment by a majority of the remaining members of the governing body. If a majority of the membership of the governing body is vacant or if a majority cannot agree, the vacancies shall be filled promptly by the county court of the county in which the administrative office of the district is located. [ORS 198.320]

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  • Joseph B Dealy
    (N)

  • Brittany J Kennedy
    (N)

  • Candidate picture

    Abigail R Kurfman
    (N)

Biographical Information

Even before COVID and the transition to online learning, school districts struggled with disparities in academic achievement. Educators fear even greater gaps upon their return to classrooms. What strategies will you consider to address these increased disparities?

COVID has shown us the importance of family support in facilitating students’ education. How will you build on this understanding to increase the role of parents in decision making and promote parental involvement in schools?

What is the impact of the pandemic on school budgets and spending priorities? How do you propose meeting these new challenges?

Los distritos escolares ya tenían dificultades con las disparidades en el desempeño académico, inclusive antes del COVID y de la transición al aprendizaje por internet. Los educadores temen que aparezcan vacíos aún mayores cuando el estudiantado vuelva a los salones de clase. ¿Qué estrategias considerará usted para enfrentar el aumento de estas dificultades?

El COVID nos ha mostrado la importancia del apoyo de las familias para facilitar la educación de los estudiantes. ¿Cómo utilizará este hecho para ampliar la función de los padres en la toma de decisiones y promover la participación de los padres de familia en las escuelas?

¿Cuál es el impacto de la pandemia en los presupuestos escolares y en las prioridades de gasto? ¿Qué propone usted para enfrentar estos nuevos desafíos?

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Web Site (leave blank if not applicable) http://abigailforphilomath.org/
Town Where You Live Philomath
Your Experience/Qualificatons Educator (2014-present): Middle school teacher, Lebanon; Middle & high school teacher, Lincoln City. Prior work in education advocacy organizations (grant writer, community organizer). As an educator, leadership experience includes running programs at the building level (co-founding/developing/fundraising for a theatre program, coordinating the AVID college readiness program), Racial Equity Group (co-founder, building; member, district & regional), and serving on the building leadership team.
County Benton
Term 2021-2025
We can address the disparities COVID has exacerbated by reshaping our culture to center student voice, wellness, and equity.

When we engage student voice, we benefit from students’ wisdom about their needs and students deepen their sense of belonging and motivation. Thus, educational outcomes improve.

Prioritizing wellness is essential. We need staff who can support mental health skill-building and to implement trauma-informed care. Wellness is necessary for flourishing.

In all of this, we must focus on racial equity and equity for those denied full opportunities and support. Addressing the root, disparities can disappear.

These focuses will enhance existing strengths in academics and school climate to support and give opportunities to ALL.
To improve communication, I recommend having one liaison per family. Families would have input on who their liaison is and how their liaison communicates with their family. Staff and families would have input on setting up the system to ensure equity and effectiveness.

Additionally, let’s bring family voices into the equity work already underway in the district and strengthen communication between that team and the Board and district leadership. Let’s also empower families, supporting the spaces and meetings they might require to engage together and connect to our schools.

Overall, let’s ensure all families have information about decisions being made and more opportunities to give input, likely through the liaison system, parent groups, and generally improved communication channels between the public and the Board.
As a district, we can strategically leverage whatever funds we receive by amplifying student voice, empowering families, centering mental health, and working to become more equitable.

Whether we will ultimately receive more or less funding due to the pandemic is unclear, given stimulus support and our weakened economy. It is clear, though, that students’ needs are greater than ever and we need to fund schools in a more equitable way.

I will advocate for changing Oregon’s method of funding schools so it addresses disparities, instead of increasing them. The wealth of a family’s zip code shouldn’t determine the opportunities their children will have in school.

While I support asking residents to continue to support our schools by renewing our school levy, I will also advocate for property taxes to be assessed more fairly. It isn’t fair that folks with modest properties are asked to pay more than their fair share while those with extensive ones are under-assessed.
Para obtener más información en español, por favor visite http://abigailforphilomath.org/flyer/.

(Primero, disculpa, yo hablo solo un poco de español, pero espero que algo sea mejor que nada.)

La pregunta es muy importante… Y yo tengo tres objetivos para mejorar nuestras escuelas.

Uno: las voces de los estudiantes. Nuestros estudiantes necesitan escuelas que los ayuden e incluyan. Los estudios dicen que “student voice,” o cuando los adultos escuchan y aprendido de las voces de los estudiantes, ayuda el éxito académico de todos estudiantes.

Dos: salud. Específicamente, salud mental y emocional. Necesitamos más personas en las escuelas que puedan ayudar a los estudiantes y otras con eso. También, necesitamos mejorar el sistema por Cuidado Informado del Trauma porque es mejor para todos y especialmente después COVID.

Tres: la equidad, y incluyendo específicamente l
Los padres y las familias de nuestros estudiantes son muy importantes. Creo que necesitamos una persona del distrito quien hablar con una familia específica, por ayudar la familia y también por la familia mejorar el distrito. Crear un sistema nuevo para mejorar la comunicación.

También, es importante incluir a nuestros padres y nuestras familias en nuestro equipo de equidad. Ese equipo y los jefes del distrito necesitan trabajar juntos cuando es un tiempo de decisión.

Tal vez necesitamos más grupos de apoyo para padres y familias.

Necesitamos otras opciones para que las familias y otras personas puedan hablar con el School Board y la superintendente. Unas opciones más fáciles que los tenemos ahora.

(Para obtener más información en español, por favor visite http://abigailforphilomath.org/flyer/.)
Es muy complicado porque hay más dinero del gobierno federal (ayudar por COVID) y menos dinero del gobierno de Oregón (porque menos trabajos para personas porque de COVID).

También, el sistema para financiar las escuelas es injusto ahora. Necesitamos cambiar y mejorar el sistema hasta que todos las escuelas reciban el dinero suficiente con la equidad. La injusticia es similar en los impuestos de propiedad. Podemos cambiar el sistema por justicia y equidad

En nuestro distrito, con cualquier dinero que recibamos, podemos enfocar a los estudiantes, los padres y las familias, la salud mental, y la equidad para mejorar la educación.

(Para obtener más información en español, por favor visite http://abigailforphilomath.org/flyer/.)