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Community Impact Candidate Questions Plano ISD School Board Place !

My Candidate Answers for Community Impact: Plano Independent School District Place 1.

Why did you decide to run for the Plano ISD board of trustees?
SV: I believe the success of our students should be the mission of PISD. We have a diverse population of students, and we need to facilitate academic success and growth for all. High school students are just as important as K-8th grade. Parents are concerned that the hybrid model of two days a week direct instruction instituted at the beginning of the school year is not sufficient, causing academic loss, and is not equitable in choice. We should be responding to the hopes of the children [and] the concerns of parents, the teachers and the community to insure a viable, prosperous and healthy school and future. PISD needs to provide an equal path for academic success for all students. I want to work to maintain and surpass those goals. This school year has been very difficult due to the pandemic. Everyone has been affected. The need of academic support, social interaction with peers, equal access to return to school and parentalchoice should be the cornerstone of PISD policy. We need transparency and open communication with parents. Parental choice should be equal for all students in all grades.
How has your experience prepared you for board service?
SV: I am invested in PISD and education on a daily basis. I have three students currently in PISD. Two are in high school on the hybrid, two-day, face-to-face instruction model, and one is a virtual student in middle school. I am a member of the career and technical education committee for PISD. I am vice chairman of the Community Relation Commission for the City of Plano. I have been involved in Rasor, Hendrick, Clark and Plano Senior PTAs. I am a small-business owner who works to negotiate the best outcome for my clients. I have a fiduciary duty to put the needs of my clients first, and I will hold to the same standard of care for the students of PISD.
What changes, if any, do you think should be made to the state's recapture system, which redistributes tax revenue from property-wealthy school districts to those with lower property values, and why?
SV: I agree with PISD’s position that we need to reduce the recapture burden. 34% of PISD property taxes goes to the state. This issue is a legislative priority for PISD. HB 3 was a positive step, and we need to maintain that funding. Texas Legislature needs to make this a priority.
What do you think are the biggest issues facing Plano ISD today, and how do you plan to address them if elected?
SV: One of the biggest challenges facing PISD is declining enrollment numbers. 2,045 students have unenrolled so far this school year. That is a cost of $20 million dollars. Forty percent of those students were prekindergarten and kindergarten students. The district expecteda decline per previous projections due to the natural cycle of cities. A loss of this magnitude has a major impact on the budget in the short term and the long term. The issue is, how do we get those students to come back? Do we know why they left? What model of education did they choose if they unenrolled but still live in Plano? An exit interview might be a method of obtaining some information. Asking what the concerns were for the parents is critical. Asking what the school could have done to alleviate the desire to withdraw is important information. Asking what measures we could take to return these students to our ISD needs to be a major discussion and focus. I believe open dialogue with parents, active listening to parental and student concerns, and clear communication could have alleviated some of the loss. We need to retain our students, and we need to retain our teachers.
What else do you want voters to know about you?
SV: My husband and I are both immigrants from Romania.My parents instilled the belief that education will create opportunities. I worked full-time during high school, paid my own way through college, where I graduated with a B.S. in psychology. I have an MBA in management. We are raising five children in Plano because we chose to live in a safe city, a city with abundant and unique resources for our children and an excellent education system. I believe Plano is a "City of Excellence," and we need to ... continue to be the leader in academic standards in PISD.

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