The Deer Park ISD School Board is ripe for change. My perspective as a veteran, licensed social worker, Hispanic woman, mother of young children, and a proven public servant is desperately needed. As a professional having worked in the schools for 9 years in Houston, Galena Park, and Goose Creek ISDs in various roles in elementary, middle, and high schools, I understand the complexities and challenges of our teachers, staff, and administrators.
Three goals and issues that I plan to work towards for the Deer Park ISD district are:
- Advocate for school finance reform. I plan to meet and discuss with legislatures and policy advocates as well as testify for or against bills in Austin in order to push for school finance reform to support increases in the state’s fair share of the cost of education to keep up with inflation, the changing needs of students, and the student population growth;
- Increase mental health support. I plan to meet and discuss with the district’s mental health professionals to understand the current district’s resources and needs. I will support and advocate for increases in the needs of the district to ensure we are providing comprehensive school mental health programs. I have existing relationships with Mental Health America of Greater Houston, who have developed 21 recommendations for school districts to improve prevention, identification, and treatment of behavioral health issues among students which can be used as a framework for developing quality mental health support.
- Challenge the misuse and overemphasis of standardized testing. I plan to meet and discuss with our teachers, administrators, local legislatures, and policy advocates in challenging the misuse and overuse of standardized testing, decrease the negative consequences, and other extreme problems by advocating for change on the policy level in Austin on behalf of our district.
I have previously testified during the 2015 legislative session on multiple bills in both the House and Senate to help support changes in policy for veteran issues. Many of the bills eventually passed and we were successful in expanding services to veterans across the state. These same skill sets and experiences can be utilized to bring about change for education issues that can impact not only Deer Park ISD School District but all school districts across the state of Texas.