School District: LAUSD – District 4

Position Seeking: Board Member

Question 1: Please share a meaningful experience you had with art (visual, dance, drama, music, media arts) while growing up and its impact on you.

I was an artist starting at a very young age – drawing and painting. I often submitted drawings to my local newspaper and would win the Junior Artist of the Month contest. I received praise for my works and acknowledgement from my community. The positive reinforcement helped build my confidence.
My mom did not want us watching television and would let us paint and draw on all the walls of our cellar (yes, we had a cellar here in Southern California). It was a creative outlet for me at a time that was a bit turbulent. To this day, I am asked to make homemade cards and watercolors for friends and family. Art is and has been a therapeutic way for me.

Question 2: How can arts education support student outcomes such as English language development, reducing the achievement gap, and preparing youth for college and/or meaningful careers?

Art education programs can help strengthen communication, critical thinking, public speaking and creative skills of our students. Through the development of these skills, our students will be able to build a confidence using the tools they learned. There is strong research that art based activities can teach a students essential language skills. “According to the California Arts Council, arts education:
*21st century workforce – Creativity is the #1 attribute sought by today’s employers
* Academic achievement – A student involved in the arts is four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement.
*Attendance – Arts engagement results in higher attendance and lower dropout rates.
*College readiness – Low-income students with high arts engagement are more than twice as likely to graduate college as their peers with no arts education.
*Jobs – Ten percent of California jobs are part of the creative industries.
* Economic growth ‚Äì The creative industries account for 7.8% of California’s GDP. .
*Workforce contributions ‚Äì California’s creative industries employ 1.4 million workers who earn $99.3 billion in annual income.
*Cross-cultural harmony – The arts help people express values, feel empathy, and triumph over their differences.
* Health care – Arts’ healing benefits result in shorter hospital stays and better pain management; music therapy helps stroke and head injury patients regain their ability to speak.“

Question 3: What do you think the role of the School Board should be in ensuring that students have continued access to a broad range of study subjects, including the arts (broadly defined)?

It is the School Board’s responsibility to ensure that all graduates of LAUSD can qualify to enter a state college or university (Cal State or UC). A full year of art is required for the Cal States and UCs. For many students, art may be there only connection to school. My youngest son is studying photography at Art Center College of Design. He did not appreciate high school until an inspirational photography instructor in high school lit up his world.
I have had the privilege to chair and found an annual fundraising event for our local high school marching band with over one hundred students.
If elected, I will fight to for public expenditures for education programs/assistance to continue to grow. Afterschool programs, creative arts classes, youth prevention programs and sports classes should be well funded because they are integral to shaping our students and sharpening various skill sets.
Wanting to support ALL kids, I have spent the last 18 years working at public schools. I have been a governing board member at Palisades Elementary, Paul Revere Charter Middle School and PCHS. PCHS has 3000 students from 100 zip codes representing the culturally rich and diverse demographics of Los Angeles. This school has a $30 million budget and negotiates with PALI-UTLA, a bargaining unit for teachers. The Board is comprised of members ranging from educators, students, parents and lawyers to financial experts. With differing backgrounds, members share opinions, take action, and allocate resources based on students’ needs first.

Question 4: Do you see a role for arts education in the development of district Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs)? If so, how would you hope to use arts education to advance the eight priority areas identified in the LCAP template?

There is a definite role for arts education in the development of the district Local Control Accountability Plan. The research supporting ELL advancement scores and the integration of arts is substantial justifying allocation of monies. Regarding the eight priority areas of the LCAP template, the following categories are directly related to the advancement of the arts: Pupil content; pupil outcomes; pupil engagement; parental involvement; and implementation of academic content. Each category can connect to art instruction.