The following information is copied from the information that the candidates themselves submitted for VOTE411.org. All candidates were invited to submit their biographical information and to answer our questions.
Candidates may enter their information up until Election Day, May 18. Please urge candidates to provide information to voters, if they haven’t done so yet. We provide this service for free to candidates and voters.
Vanessa Lyon has not responded yet. However, she has a statement on page M-30 of the Multnomah County Voters’ Pamphlet.
Todd Mickalson has not responded yet. However, he has a statement on page M-30 of the Multnomah County Voters’ Pamphlet. He currently serves on the school board.
Michelle Vo, Architect. In addition to answering our questions, she has a statement on page M-31 of the Multnomah County Voters’ Pamphlet. She currently serves on the school board.
1. Even before COVID and the transition to online learning, school districts struggled with disparities in academic achievement. Educators fear even greater gaps upon their return to classrooms. What strategies will you consider to address these increased disparities?
Michelle Vo: Addressing academic achievement disparities will require support in the classroom as well as outside the classroom. Supporting students will require the entire school community to be focused on each student’s needs individually. Better understanding of how to apply a justice, diversity, equity and inclusion lens to all our decisions is important to effectively considering each student’s needs. As a board member, I will be prioritizing budget for counselors, wrap around services, as well as in-classroom support.
2. COVID has shown us the importance of family support in facilitating students’ education. How will you build on this understanding to increase the role of parents in decision making and promote parental involvement in schools?
Michelle Vo: Corbett is fortunate to have a close-knit community who are invested in our schools. There is a lot of pride in what students in Corbett have accomplished. Sharing our successes by improving communication as well as providing opportunity for feedback with parent events and meetings will help broaden parental involvement. The upcoming search for a permanent Superintendent will also be an opportunity to involve community members to actively participate in determining leadership for the District’s future.
3. What is the impact of the pandemic on school budgets and spending priorities? How do you propose meeting these new challenges?
Michelle Vo: The pandemic has reduced the State’s School Fund. Prior to COVID, the State passed legislation to increase school funding. That hard work was set back by the COVID pandemic. As we were last year, we will again be challenged to balance a desire to reduce enrollment in our District with a need to be fiscally responsible and preserve needed programs and resources. Prioritizing budget areas requires thoughtful understanding of finances, listening to input from all sides of the community and making difficult choices.