· Obtained Administrative Services Credentials, which has very specific training on leading and running a school or a school district, and is mandatory for serving as a school site or district leader.
It includes the following areas of expertise:
- Developing student support programs
- Being responsible for hiring, training, and evaluating personnel
- Evaluating and developing instructional programs
- Evaluating and supervising staff and faculty
- Managing fiscal services
- Overseeing school operations
- Leading a school (as a principal) or a district (several schools) on a daily basis
· Served four years successfully on the board of the second largest college district in California (running for re-election) and gained a lot of experience in the areas of balancing a budget, bargaining units, personnel, and miscellaneous issues.
· Have been a credentialed teacher for over seventeen years (Have taught community College, high school school, middle school, both in traditional and alternative settings). I’m the only teacher on the current board.
· Am familiar with local issues, being a resident of the area for many years.
· Earned an Excellence in Trusteeship Program, which focuses on how to be an effective trustee.
· Completed a Community College Faculty Certificate Program, which teaches the ins and outs of the Community College system.
No. I’m a mom, long-time teacher, and active community member. I ran four years ago to advocate for my students and neighbors. My focus is on education and bettering my community. Through my role as a trustee, I have interacted with people who are also on school boards, city councils, etc. It is important to build partnerships and relationships that can benefit our small businesses and students. By talking to people, I have found out about scholarships that our students qualify for, internships, etc. I also attend local events all the time, including non-profit fundraisers, city-sponsored events, etc., because I am an engaged citizen and involved with many organizations. I have lived in the area I represent for many years, and have children who are involved in youth sports, arts, etc. I support and frequent small, local, businesses, and seeing my community succeed is the most important thing for me.
No. The Los Rios Community College District hasn’t passed a bond measure for more than 10 years. Measure E was on a prior ballot, but did not pass. It would not have raised taxes, but would have authorized locally controlled funds to repair and upgrade facilities at the current rate. This measure would have allowed the district to apply for millions of dollars of state matching funds that would otherwise be unavailable.
We’ve been financially responsible, and are one of the highest rated districts in the state. In addition, we have undertaken four separate refundings to reduce interest costs. This has saved taxpayers nearly $24 million.
Most of the district’s buildings are at least 40 years old (Sacramento City College is more than 100 years old!) We have had a bond oversight committee for the past 18 years to ensure bond money is being used in a responsible way. The funds can only be used for this purpose.
Building funds cannot be used for operational purposes- they come from different pots of money. We are not allowed to spend this money on students or operational costs. Design and construction funding come from bond funds (both state and local, depending on the project) that can ONLY be used for building purposes. However, we have given students a lot of money through CARES funding. Students have received checks and we also have many other types of support services available to help our students.
I wasn’t born in the United States- my parents immigrated to California when I was young and I went through the naturalization process as an adult. My family had to learn English, which wasn’t our native language. Most of our family was overseas, so we did not have a local family support network. As well, my parents did not graduate college, and we lacked generational knowledge of how the United States educational system worked. I can proudly say that I am the first in my family to earn a college degree.
We were the first higher education institution in the Sacramento area to close our campuses for the safety of students and staff. We closed before Sacramento State, UC Davis, University of the Pacific, Sierra College, and Delta College. Elk Grove Unified School District, a k-12 district, was the only district in the area to close before us, and that was due to students testing positive in their district.
No. We did have two students (medical professionals) that were exposed during clinicals off-campus, but we had zero cases. Sacramento County health experts indicated that members of the campus communities were not at risk for exposure and directed us to proceed with regular classes. Out of an abundance of caution, the two students were instructed by county health officials to self-quarantine for 14 days.
I respect teachers and appreciate the hard work they do daily, as well as the work of our classified staff and administrators. Our budget is balanced, and there is no reason to cut anyone’s salary. We have qualified people that do their job well, and we don’t want our teachers leaving our district to go somewhere else. It would cost us more money in the long-run to have to do employee searches, background checks, and training. Even though we anticipate budget cuts from the state, we are in great financial shape and are not planning any across-the-board layoffs or furloughs.
The district has been a statewide leader in fiscal stability for many years. A principal reason for this is our diligence in not spending resources (from the state or otherwise) until we actually have them, as opposed to basing expenditures on upcoming year projections like most districts do. As a result of this, our expenditures – including personnel costs or salary adjustments – typically lag a year behind the state budget cycle, meaning any salary adjustments are based on last year’s very good budget.
That said, if and when there are unforeseen economic conditions such as the catastrophic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we can and do make adjustments to those plans in the current year.
We remain one of few districts in the state to have our retiree benefits (OPEB) fully funded, in the last recession we were able to protect against layoffs or furloughs of full time faculty and staff while others around the state were not so fortunate, and we only use one-time funds for one-time expenses (as an example, we did provide faculty with a one-time stipend of 4% to assist with that work it took to rapidly transition all classes to online for our students). We know that this current fiscal crisis is unlike anything any of us have seen before, so it is going to be incredibly important that we maintain extraordinary discipline in the months and years ahead.
We offer many apprenticeship programs and partnerships (carpenter, electrical, ironworkers, sheetmetal, etc.) LRCCD has been working to expand apprenticeships. We are looking for new partners through the traditional trades, as well as investigating new apprenticeship fields (for example, the financial Apprenticeship through SEIU using the upcoming California Apprenticeship Initiative Grant).
One in five California community college students have been homeless in the past year. What is your opinion of AB 302 (allowing homeless students to sleep in their cars overnight on campus)? What are you doing to help homeless students?
I want to help our homeless students as much as possible. Many community college students are food and housing-insecure, and it is our responsibility to help our students. It’s impossible to function and think when hungry or when worrying about where to sleep. My position on AB 302 was that it was a good start as far as helping our homeless students, but had some flaws. We didn’t want to use this as a solution to a much larger problem. The state would not have provided funding for schools, and schools are already lacking money to serve our students. I also don’t think anyone should have to sleep in their cars unless it’s a last resort. It’s not safe, and my belief is that humans should be sleeping in a room where they have walls for their safety. As well, it would not have helped students who do not own cars. Our district would have been exempt from the bill, because we were already providing housing vouchers for our students.
Our district has many resources for our food and housing-insecure students- though we can always do more and are certainly always looking for more resources! We have been working with our local housing advocates to get homeless students off the streets and have given as much money as possible back to students through the CARES program. Our district has also been collaborating with CalFresh. We have food pantries, showers that students can use, scholarships, gowns for grads, textbook scholarships, and our student emergency fund. The student emergency fund allows students to apply for a payout within 24 hours. We have helped many students pay rent this way. Lastly, we have hotel vouchers that have provided housing for our students. This way our students have a private room where they can study and sleep in the comfort of a bed.
At the state level, there was talk about partnering with HUD and Section 8 to help our students, but this takes a long time. We also want to become an approved EBT/Fresh Vendor. Unfortunately, the process to do this happens at the state level, with a lot of bureaucracy, and is a slow process (at least 18 months). We are working to get this implemented.
Enrollment is not the number of students- that is headcount. Enrollment is defined by the number of credit hours a student is enrolled in each term.
Los Rios Community College District’s student numbers had been pretty steady the past five years, as was almost every other community college in the nation. Typically when the economy is good, numbers goes down because people are out in the workforce. When the economy is bad, people return to school. Our student numbers were up last fall (2019) before COVID-19. Between the years of 2013-2019, our student population declined by 1,364 students total from our high of approx. 74,000 students- a decline of 1.8%. Our district did not lose 30,000 students!
Our district has actively been trying to reduce the number of credits that students take as a part of the Guided Pathways program. We are TRYING to lower enrollment so students can get in and out of college faster, without wasting their time! “On average, community college graduates earn 22 credit hours more than needed” (The Key to Guided Pathways: You Need to Get Started). With LRCCD’s Guided Pathways implementation, we have been helping our students reach their goals of finishing degrees and certificates faster. This is so they can get into the workforce without spending unnecessary money and time on classes they don’t need.
What's the deal with Proctorio? Is this software safe to use?
Yes! Proctorio has a service agreement with the State Chancellor’s Office and is used by the majority of community colleges in the state.
Proctorio does not require a student’s personally identifiable information (PII) and while some type of temporary surveillance is inherent in any proctoring solution, Proctorio leverages security technology (encryption) to allow only authorized users to access the video/audio. Proctorio’s certifications include: Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
Do you support Law Enforcement? Do you want to defund the police?
I strongly support law enforcement and I do NOT want to defund the police or cut any law enforcement budgets. I am an Elk's Lodge member and my son is a part of Cub Scouts. We often attend events helping our local law enforcement. My kids attend the Kops N Kids camp each summer, and my daughter was a cadet last year. I have completed the Elk Grove Police Department Citizen's Academy, a program where I attended 3 hour classes weekly over a 9 week period. I have also donated money to the Police Activities League.
I signed a pledge not to accept contributions from law enforcement because I believe in transparency. Any decision I make is always going to be in the best interest of students, and I don’t think that money should play a part in such important issues. I wanted to take that out of the equation. Community colleges provide education for 80% of the law enforcement field, and we do have our own campus police force, which is doing a great job.