09 Oct Lisa Guzman
Photographs provided by candidates or their campaign committees.
for Trustee, Clark County School District A
Candidate contact information:
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone number: 7029644982
Website: LisaGuzmanfor Trustee.com
CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE RESPONSES
Please share briefly what inspired you to run for this office and why you feel you’re qualified for the position.
I am running for this seat because I think that my community needs someone who wants to communicate with them about CCSD. I think that the students need someone who is going to remember that they are there to ensure they get the best education.
What are your views on providing age-appropriate, medically-accurate, culturally-inclusive sex-ed to Nevada’s students?
I think this is critical. Students in Nevada need to have this during their Health Education. Studies have shown that age- appropriate, medically- accurate, culturally inclusive sex education lessen unintended pregnancies in the teenage years. I believe that this type of education is critical to health and well being of young girls across Nevada.
If elected, what strategies or policies can be implemented to keep racially-based threats and other discriminatory behaviors out of our schools to keep our children safe?
Last Legislative Session, Legislator, Tyrone Thompson, passed a bill to require Restorative Justice discipline. The problem with this bill was that although Superintendent Jhone Ebert sent a memo on how it was to be done, it did not come with training. Restorative Justice and Implicit Bias are two training subjects that need to be brought into the district. I know that administrators have not been through these trainings, so how can they assist their staff with implementation?
What do you believe is the best approach to ensure all of Nevada’s children have access to a quality education?
I believe that there are gaps in the way that CCSD ensures quality education. During this pandemic it has been made blatantly clear. Today, a month after online education was implemented, buses are finally going out to 13 areas to provide wifi. Last week, Admissions officers were sent to homes to give students chrome books that had not checked in. Moving quickly to assist communities in need rather than waiting to see if what they implements works, is the best approach to ensure all of Nevada's students have access to quality education.
What steps should be taken to ensure the safety of Nevada’s children in our schools and communities? How would you specifically address the potential for gun violence in our schools?
This hurts my heart every time I read it. Students should never be afraid to come to school and parents should not be afraid to send their children to school. I know that a school districts and parent advocates are doing their best to keep our children safe. I have read about the best policies to put into place for this safety. I think that students live in trauma. I believe that the students who brought guns to school were in need of trauma informed teaching and assist from a counselor. I think there should be more counselors in school. The ratio in Nevada is more than 600 students to 1 counselor. Trauma informed teaching training is a luxury that is done through the unions when educators have time to take it. It should be mandated during PD days and support professionals should be included. If we know why our students are hurting, help them, maybe there will be less violence.
How should Nevada address the ongoing difficulties to effectively and equitably fund public schools across the diverse landscape of the state? How will you use your position to address this issue?
In the last legislative session, Ozzy Fumo, and Joyce Woodhouse pulled people who were not a part of the education community advocating for teachers and support professionals to come up with the failed legislation SB543. Although Superintendent Jhone Ebert is trying to create regulations that work within the confines of this bill, it is broken. I think that the legislators have to look at all of the businesses that received tax breaks under Governor Sandoval, see why mining is not taxed, and look at how we can truly fund schools. During this pandemic, all I hear about are cuts. After the 2009 cuts, education cannot take anymore cuts. It has not recovered from 2009.
What do you see as the government’s role in providing students with access to different education choices (including magnet programs, charter schools, homeschooling, etc) to meet a variety of unique needs? What standards do you think should apply across schooling options?
I think that profiting off of public education has created a mess since 1998. This was when a private person could ask the local government for a building to start their charter school. They are paid the same DSA but do not have to provide the same services public schools provide. When the charter doesn't work, the person who started the charter, sells the building for a profit. If the charter is working, because it is under a private business the private business can sell the charter for a profit. It is a scam. Yet, when the the charter is run under the public school with public school controlling it , it can work without the deceptive profiteering.
I think the government needs to allow the districts to provide their idea of school choice. I do not think that school choice was appropriate until I needed for my own son. I think it is appropriate based on the different magnet school focuses. I think that like my needs for my son, I wanted to be sure that the school we chose had diversity among the students and staff. One of the issues that CCSD and schools across the state have is diversity among staff. I think that providing for student's unique needs is what magnet schools do and that educational choice, done correctly helps the district and the student, with little help from the government.
What are the biggest issues facing the education community in Nevada, and how do you propose to solve them?
I think that Nevada's number one issue for districts and students across Nevada is funding. I think that SB543 is a disaster for students. It has the DSA staying the same in Eureka county for 23 years. This is horrible. In Clark County, where I am running, it is supposed to provide the funding we need. It is robbing Peter to pay Paul. It was appropriately name "the freeze and squeeze" bill when educators around the state spoke about it. Now that the pandemic has stopped Nevada's economy, the legislature needs to look at appropriate ways to fund the schools. As a Trustee, I would work with my CFO, Jason Goudy, along with the unions to find the best way to lobby for funding to assist our students. I think, right now, this is providing the most stress among educators and families.
How can Nevada disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline to ensure that students are not prematurely introduced to the criminal justice system?
This is a great question! I have studied the school to prison pipeline for the last 15 years. The inception of private prisons has exacerbated this issue. I know that there are at least 13 different areas in Clark County where students do not have wifi. Where they live in weekly hotels, and have to depend on 3 Square to eat. I know that the districts have tried to put into place before and after school programs to assist families, yet these same families have to pay for these services. I think that more needs to be done to equalize the education of all students. I also think that before and after care should be free. I think that children should be trained in a skill so that they can make a living. If we give students and parents real solutions to make sure the kids are safe and do not need to turn to crime to survive, we will break this pipeline. It will take a concentrated push from the district. It will also mean partnering with the teacher and support professional union that have training and skills to assist.
How should our schools address gender-diverse policies to ensure the safety of all Nevada’s students?
Last year, I read an article about a young lady that was sent home from school when it was 118 degrees out for wearing spaghetti straps. She was sent home because she was making the boys look at her. When the journalist spoke to her, the young lady stated that she was embarrassed. Her mom took her shopping for some nice clothes and she truly did not think that she was asking boys to look at her. The school said she was preventing the young boys from getting the appropriate education that they deserve. It outraged me. Who is raising those boys to see girls as an object? Why was the school magnifying that the young girl was an object. I think teaching both girls and boys about gender diversity and how all children are the same and should be treated as people is imperative. I honestly thought after the article that I read, what if that had been a trans-gendered person? What if it had been my gay son who was sent home because he was wearing a rainbow? We need to be true to our children and teach them that everyone is the same and no -one should be bullied. All of the children that attend school should be safe.
Across Nevada, Spanish speaking parents struggle to receive assistance and attention in their children’s schools because many schools with high Latino student populations fail to provide bilingual front office staff readily available to assist parents. What is your position on passing legislation that would offer schools with significant Latino and ELL (English Language Learner) student populations funding to hire bilingual staff designated for parental engagement in the school’s administrative office?
I was a certified English as a Second Language educator when I taught. This is my passion. I think that adding funding to provide a bilingual person to the front office is extremely important. I know that when you do not speak the native language, schools can be intimidating. By having your child translate for you can be tough. I think having a bilingual front office staff with the responsibility to assist these parents, would make school seem more open to them. I would be the first of the CCSD Trustees to take this legislation and advocate for it. Schools need to be open to everyone.