Natomas School Board Race: Money Matters

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

Updated 8 a.m.


We invited the FOUR candidates running for Natomas Unified school board to answer questions submitted by readers. Today’s question asked:

“A school board member’s role includes fiscal management of Natomas Unified’s resources. In light of economic pressures and possible future cuts in education funding from the State of California, what is one step you plan to take as a school board member to recruit and retain teachers while ensuring district solvency?”

Megan Allen

While working together with the Superintendent to commit to a healthy budget and continue to build the reserves necessary to sustain us through these hardships, I will diversify our recruitment strategy, widen our candidate search, and collaborate with more universities and teaching programs throughout California and the U.S. to attract top caliber teachers to educate our students. In order to retain our amazing Natomas teachers, I plan on hiring more classroom aides and encouraging more volunteer involvement from the community. This will help with the students’ learning recovery and lighten the stress level of teachers. Our teachers invest so much of their time and energy into our Natomas students. I’d like for them to feel supported by our administration and community, and desire to be part of our schools for decades to come.

Monique Hokman

As a Board Member, my top priority will be to ensure we maintain a positive budget with a rainy-day fund so that Natomas Unified remains fully staffed and that teachers have the support they need personally and professionally. I’ll use my experience as a small business owner to make sure this happens. I’ll also ensure our hiring and recruiting practices are diverse, that there are opportunities for intern teachers, and that promoting volunteerism is a district priority. Additionally, I’d like to see the district undertake a more robust grant program that is aggressive in pursuing available state funds to support vital services. Lastly, the district should always look for ways to eliminate waste and reinvest the money in the classroom.

Cindy Quiralte

Responsible fiscal management is of the upmost importance for the vitality of our school district. I plan on being involved in supporting the current professional development efforts that the district offers teachers, and create a culture that fosters staff resilience that includes fair leave policies, a physically safe and secure working environment, sufficient supervision, support,and resources to do the work.

Noel Mora

I will start by emphasizing that oversight of the district’s budget is one of the most critical responsibilities for a school board member, and there needs to be short and long term planning involved. We are fortunate that our district is not in the same dire fiscal situation in which it has been in the past, and there are now minimum amounts of funding that must come from the state budget to support our schools at all times. That being said, our budget is a reflection of our most essential needs for students to learn. When our teachers are supported and stay in the district, our students are the ones who benefit. We cannot operate our schools without having an adequate amount of teachers and the retention of our educators begins now, by investing in their growth and by creating an ecosystem of support for them and our students.

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