Parents have the primary responsibility for the development of their children. Their attitude, encouragement and involvement have the most influence in a child’s growth and education. Over 90% of Utah parents enroll their children in district and charter schools. These combine to create public schools for kids. Cindy is uniquely qualified as both parent and practitioner to take a preK-post high school view of our education system. The Utah constitution calls for the Utah Board of Education to oversee public education in our state. Too often we have top-down unfunded mandates that reduce the nimbleness of schools and impair local ability to meet student needs. Cindy will work for policies that make sense for schools and families.
Funding for schools is needed. As our legislature provides funding for the WPU, it is important to recognize that some money is needed just to cover growth and inflation, so increases can be deceiving. Due to an income tax reduction and a constitutional change to divide K-12 funding with higher ed, schools have seen considerable cuts in resources. We are not back to 2008 pre-recession funding for education. While revenue generation for education does not fall under the purview of USBE, stewardship and oversight of Utah schools does. Board members can define and express need to legislators, and in turn, act as responsible stewards of allocations.
Public trust must be earned, and transparency is key to earning that trust. As a parent I have appreciated the effort that the board has made to broadcast meetings online. I have also appreciated the many reports that the board generates and publishes for all to consider. Additionally, when important changes are to be made, not only has there been an opportunity for public input at board meetings, but separate meetings have been scheduled for the sole purpose of listening to stakeholder input. I would support all of those things continuing and anything additional that could increase transparency for the Board of Education.
Thank you, teachers. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. We are losing many of our teachers to other states or professions. Attrition is concerning, and finding qualified applicants to teach is not always easy, especially during a healthy economy. We must look at recruitment, induction, and retention when it comes to our teaching force in Utah. That means listening to those who have boots on the ground and working together so that policymakers, practitioners, and parents can form bridges that will lead to a healthy educational milieu in our state.
As a principal, I was blown away by the service rendered by you, as parents to our school. You could have sat on the sidelines and complained about the million difficulties public education experiences. However, you jumped in. You got on board. You spent your time, energy, and resources helping in any way you could. I am mostly a stay at home parent now, and have tried to emulate you. As your principal, while nowhere near perfect, I tried to honor, respect, seek and implement your feedback. I said often as a principal, “If plan A doesn’t work, we will try Plan B. If Plan B doesn’t work, we will try plan C. If plan C doesn’t work, we will try plan D,” and so on. We as parents must advocate for what we feel is right for our students, and we as practitioners and policy makers must partner with parents.
I believe that all policy makers have a responsibility to finetooth comb policy and look for ways to support schools rather than give top down unfunded mandate’s. Educators have plates that are burgeoning, and not just from trying to meet vastly varied student needs. This is happening from a myriad of requirements that may or may not be funded, may or may not have technical support, may or may not have training provided, may or may not even make an impact on students. Administrators, teachers staff, and parents are working hard for our children. The mountain they have to climb does not need to be made steeper by unnecessary or unfunded mandates.
Sometimes I say to policymakers, “There is something you could do for education in the state of Utah and it wouldn’t cost one red cent. We could change our tone. We could seek to find the good while we also work diligently to extinguish the bad. We could give credit where credit is due even while trying to innovate and constantly improve education for our children. As colleagues, constituents, caregivers, critics, and community members, we could speak respectfully to one another even when we disagree. We could move forward in professional ways to find not only compromise but consensus. I have always thought that the longer we communicate, the more we will find we have in common than otherwise. Let’s tackle problems together not tackle each other in the process.
“Hands Down. Cindy Davis. Brilliant mind. Fierce defender of kids and Deeper Learning.”
“I am so impressed with Cindy’s understanding of Utah’s education system and her willingness to listen to all sides.”
“I cannot think of anyone more qualified to be on the state school board. Every once in a while we get a chance to vote for someone who we really believe in, who is a true leader, who is good to the core, and brilliant- well, that is Cindy Davis. I support her whole-heartedly… she will make all the difference for our children.”
“Yes, YES, a thousand votes yes!!”
“I remember that first day at Oak Canyon when, as new colleagues, I met you. You were amazing then and have maintained your enthusiasm and expertise. I hope the voters will help you serve all the children in the State of Utah as you seek this opportunity.”
“So excited to cast my vote for Cindy Davis for state school board! She embodies everything I value in a candidate: experience, poise, understanding of issues and perspectives, genuine concern, honesty, and on and on... Cindy is the kind of candidate that you hope with all your heart will run (for anything), and then it feels like Christmas morning when she does!”
“Cindy is passionate about education and children. She will do great things on the Utah state school board.”
“She truly walks the walk when it comes to supporting our schools and our children. She is running for state school board in District 9, covering most of the Alpine School District area. She will be a fantastic advocate and I encourage you to vote for her in June and November.”