My Platform.

Students First. Always.

As an elected school board member, I will always put students at the center of all decisions.

 

Unfortunately, the EUSD board has a checkered history when it comes to collaboration and focus. In the past, the board has engaged in a number of issues that distracted from the district’s mission of providing quality educational services to Escondido families.

 

The school board should not be a stepping stone to run for higher office. The job of our school district is too important to play host to political ambition. The only thing that motivates me as a candidate in this election is the wellbeing of our students.

 

I have served my entire adult life in public service. I understand the importance of listening to stakeholders, engaging with the community, and being collaborative with my colleagues.

 

As an elected board member, I will put politics aside, avoid unnecessary drama, and do what is needed to support our students.

I will always prioritize fiscal responsibility and ensure taxpayer dollars are always benefiting students.

Fiscal Responsibility.

EUSD faces tough financial times ahead. COVID-19, and the associated economic downturn, is adjusting forecasts in terms of revenue available for Escondido public schools and other public agencies moving forward.

 

Now more than ever, it is critical that we have fiscally responsible decision-makers on our school board to ensure that our taxpayer dollars are being spent efficiently and effectively.

As a public sector executive, I feel I have unique experience in developing and executing budgets in a balanced and responsible way. Sometimes budgetary and fiscal decisions are tough to make, but we must think about the longterm future of our public schools at all points in the process.

Teahcer at a Math Class

Thriving, Not Just Surviving.

As a working parent, COVID-19 has presented my family with tremendous challenges. Distance learning options, while well-intentioned, have not lived up to being a suitable alternative for in-person instruction.


Our priority should always be the health and safety of our students and teachers, however, we also need to recognize that “Educating the whole child” is not just about attendance and grades but must include social and emotional well-being, physical and mental health, and social interaction.


These pillars of youth development will always be at the forefront of my decision-making process.


COVID-19 may change how education is delivered going forward and will require creative leadership and “out of the box” thinking to ensure that our students are engaged, prepared, and ultimately successful in their chosen pursuits.

 

If we do our job right, EUSD can do more than just survive during and after COVID-19, we can thrive.

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Reverse Declining Enrollment.

One of the major issues facing EUSD, is the continued trend of declining enrollment. As the population levels out and families are presented with more choices in education, more and more parents are choosing to send their students to charters and private schools as opposed to EUSD.

 

While I have sent all of my kids to local public schools, I can understand the decision to send students elsewhere. EUSD has some incredible teachers and schools, but the only way we can reverse the trend of shrinking enrollment is by making EUSD a competitive choice for parents.

 

Too often, the issue of declining enrollment is talked about in the context of attacking local charter schools. Instead of attacking school choice, we should instead be looking at what makes those schools an attractive option for parent to begin with. We should be developing new modes of learning, stronger parent engagement, new technology in the classroom, and innovative curriculum models.

 

We should make EUSD the best option for parents pondering their educational options. Only then will we meet this challenge.

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Paid for by Mark Olson for Escondido Union School Board 2020

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