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You Decide


As a teacher and coach, I know from experience that the best answers for our schools don't come from Washington, D.C., Sacramento, or Wall Street. 

That’s why I’m working to give parents, teachers and communities more power to decide what's best for the children they serve. We are in the midst of carrying out Governor Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula to empower parents, teachers, and local school leaders to make their own decisions about how education dollars are spent.

How about you? What priorities do you have for improving the schools in your community? 

32 signatures

Will you sign?

Showing 31 reactions

signed 2015-09-22 19:57:11 -0700
Sonoma County ‘graduates’ of the Head Start program at Kashia Reservation in the 1970’s have gone on to remarkable careers. Please follow up on the records.(I enjoyed your presentation at MCOE on 9/21/15).
signed 2014-04-29 14:27:17 -0700
Focusing on educational learning styles and programs that are have education more based on existing university “learn by doing” integrated with the standard lecture format so they can get more engaged. Naturally, returning some funding towards restoring S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) and music in order to help reignite their creativity, leadership, and motivation to participate inside and outside the academic setting. One of the biggest accomplishments would be having parental, extended family and friends, and the greater community collaboration further part of the school culture in how it operates.
signed 2014-04-17 16:27:32 -0700
Quality education begins at home. Schools need to try their best in reaching out to parents first in educating them to be able to relate to what their children are learning so that they can learn to invest time in following up and guiding their children at home. If this is not possible, schools should develop a “tutoring program” and set incentives for students to voluntarily be involved and inspire them to study more on their own. Bring back the arts, music and other classes that had to be axed due to budget constrsaints. I’m sure there is a way to get these back w/o breaking the bank. These classes make for a better, well rounded education.
signed 2014-04-16 11:24:00 -0700
My #1 priority would be smaller class sizes. My students and I participate in global collaboration activities with classrooms all over. As are a result of global collaboration one of the biggest themes my 4th graders discuss is how much bigger our class size is than other states. They know that a smaller class size means more time with their teacher.

My #2 priority would be access to technology for all students. We need to continue to fund innovation in the classroom with technology.

My #3 priority would be teacher-centered, meaningful, hands-on professional development to support CCSS and technology integration.
signed 2014-04-16 11:03:04 -0700
@tlc2tweet tweeted link to this page. 2014-04-16 07:38:45 -0700
posted about this on Facebook 2014-04-16 07:38:44 -0700
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signed 2014-04-16 07:38:05 -0700
Transportation funds should be fairly distributed among districts. Getting kids to school safely should be a top priority. Expand natural gas busing like Walnut Unified has done. Too many parents are torn between work commitments and getting their child to and from school safely. It is a real problem here in the Etiwanda District where we only receive $100k for 13,000 students based on an archaic funding formula. Senator Norma Torres sponsored a bill SB 1137 to address this important issue.
signed 2014-04-16 07:35:00 -0700
Massive investment in pre school matriculation; massive increase in compulsory STEM after school programming; and certainly summer STEM programs in challenged communities.
signed 2014-04-16 06:47:11 -0700
I have taught high school English for going on 34th year. Please learn from

what happened in New York State. We do not need the Common Core.

Instead, less high stakes testing, more help for low performing schools,

respect for teachers: do not tie test scores with hiring practices and more

books, not more electronics.
signed 2014-04-16 06:40:21 -0700
signed 2014-04-15 21:50:01 -0700
I would like to see more funding for GATE programs, in addition to more funding for school renovations.
signed 2014-04-15 20:38:44 -0700
I have International experience in education and have been preparing for second PhD, which will be on education. I believe the Tom Torlakson’s ideas about creative education is fundamentally essential for future of the USA. Creative education does not mean chaos, it is a structured mean for developing such adaptive and producing brain in children which will make them life-long strong, healthy and smart personalities. Creative education means a lot math, foreign languages, art and early specialization. It means parents to feel themselves teachers in the same way in which the teachers to feel themselves parents.
posted about this on Facebook 2014-04-15 18:35:00 -0700
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signed 2014-04-15 18:34:33 -0700
My first priority is a campaign to improve the school attendance of disadvantaged students in the state so that they will be prepared for their futures.
signed 2014-04-15 17:08:24 -0700
The world is a different place. California competing in a globalized economy fueled by advanced communications and information technology. The education platform needs to reflect this reality, just as the new industrial era influenced the educational structure for an educated, industrialized workforce over one hundred years ago. Schools and California businesses need to step up to the common goal of developing this workforce — a K thru 12 and, then, lifetime of learning. I applaud your desire toward gigabit broadband and the applications they support to every school so a revolution can be discovered in the curriculum and the unique learning experiences of all. There is no going back to old models.
signed 2014-04-15 17:05:05 -0700
I have always believed we have some of the best teachers in the world. What we don’t get is the best these educators have to offer and our children are the losers….because everyone is teaching and being taught on rote. No room for real learning or creativity.
signed 2014-04-15 16:30:04 -0700
We need more trade schools or classes in Jr Colleges to prepare people for career as electricians, plumbers, auto mechanics, elevator mechanics, painters, etc., etc. All of which create jobs which cannot be outsourced.,
signed 2014-04-15 16:19:56 -0700
I am attending an meeting tonight regarding our district’s LCAP for what it’s worth. What is the accountability of the district in including the community and teacher’s voice in these decisions? In our case the document is completely filled out as a done deal before even presenting it to the community. The doc has dates that haven’t happened yet already written in as approved. There is NO EMPOWERMENT OF THE PEOPLE in this process. Only less oversite, and more suits telling us what they decided to do. I will sit on any committee, and talk to anyone in Mr. Torkleson’s office to better this process.
posted about this on Facebook 2014-04-15 15:20:32 -0700
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signed 2014-04-15 15:19:54 -0700
I’m the same individual that created the “Student Principal of The Year” at Richmond High School in June 2007, and this project for senior students was a total success on a national and international level. Unfortunately I was laid-off about a year ago and wasn’t rehired. I also wrote the state of California Mentor Appreciation Day Theme Song, which was chaptered by the secretary of state in 2000, and it was authored-at the time-by Senator Tom Torlakson.

I believe the school need to hire more security for the safety of all students!
signed 2014-04-15 14:58:19 -0700
More para educators,more support staff for increased classes if they decrease class sizes, more support staff hours, nutrition, custodial, transportation. TUSD
signed 2014-04-15 14:51:41 -0700
At Ukiah high School there are some of the best SHOPS for teaching CTE on the North Coast. Delan Eastin spent a day veisiting these SHOPS when she was State Superintendent. She declared for the press that these programs were top notch and a model for the entire state.
Now the problem is, the machining program, welding program and auto program are now all part time, with part time instructors. The drafting program, which was considered to be one of the best in the state, was shut down a few years ago. The wood program closed last year and word is that it will now be eliminated all together.

At Ukiah High School, all of the SHOP facilities were renovated to the highest standards just 9 years ago. Today, each SHOP is a marvel to see, and ready to train future engineers and trades people for the world.


A-G is making it almost impossible for students to take SHOP. The UC and CSU no longer have courses to train degreed, credentialed and qualified SHOP teachers. STEM and common core are designed to kill SHOP programs and turn them into college prep courses.

At Ukiah high school, there is a good chance that SHOP very soon will no longer be part of the overall courses of study offered on this campus.


The California Department of Education must require all students to take a two semester SHOP class as part of a high school graduation requirement. These SHOP classes should be designed to prepare a student for a college engineering major, industrial career, or help students to decide to leave SHOP and go into an academic area of interest.

Engineering departments at schools like UC Irvine, Cal Poly, and Chico State University are teaching basic 7-12 grade SHOP skills to freshman Engineering students who have no tool knowledge…….this should be done at the high school level!
signed 2014-04-15 14:47:07 -0700
Need more vocational education. Colleges can only accept about1/3 of High Scholl grads. Takecare of the 2.3!
signed 2014-04-15 14:37:14 -0700
As an educator, I am extremely frustrated with the fact that we NEVER empower parents, teachers, or students, and I believe that you know this. My school is in a rural area and part of a unified high school district that includes 8 comprehensive and 4 continuation schools. For years, we have seen programs come and go based on district funding and what they call “student need.” Our school is an under performing school for various reasons from second language issues to a high SpEd population, and over the years, our students have had electives taken away from our campus based on this fact, but not every student is under performing or in need of remediation. With the use of SIG funds, we purchased computers/technology, added PD for teachers, and funded programs for remediation, but not all of those things make students want to come to school. The incentive for many of our students to attend high school has been stripped from them; we do not have many electives and even fewer vocational programs. If an elective teacher leaves the school, the district does not find a new teacher, they simply cancel the elective for our students, but the same is not true across our district. In a school that has a majority of students who speak Spanish as well as English, Spanish is the only foreign language that is offered on our campus; how is that learning a second language for these students? When the French teacher left years ago, she was never replaced, yet other schools in our district have Spanish, Latin, French, and even American Sign Language on their campuses. The students at our school deserve better than what they receive from our district. We are singled out and are the “armpit” of our district based on our student population and rural location, in spite of the fact that our students are well-behaved and many are excellent students heading to prestigious colleges and university. These students excelled but lacked opportunities that students within our district were able to capitalize on and prepare for life beyond high school. The separation and segregation is blatant and the students across our valley know this; our students are singled out and ostracized because they attend our campus.

Our school (which encompasses 420 sq miles) had the highest attendance for an LCFF community meeting. As a participant in that meeting, I know that the main concerns of the community stemmed around vocational programs and foreign language, yet when our master schedule for next year was being set in place, not one new program or elective was added except a Bible as Literature class, because it did not involve hiring a new teacher. When I asked about adding a foreign language, I was told that we did not have a teacher on campus to teach anything except Spanish. Well, if the funding is supposed to support our needs and address the concerns of the community, why can’t we hire a teacher? Why can’t we bring back those electives and vocational programs that have been yanked from us: Choir (our kids deserve to sing!), photography, restaurant management, metal shop, wood shop, CAD, etc…

I don’t expect a personal response from you, as I am sure you will receive similar concerns. Bring meaningful elective back to our schools. Bring vocational programs back to our schools, not every student is academic and college bound. For our future, we need well-rounded, productive members of society, no matter which path they choose.
signed 2014-04-15 14:36:18 -0700
signed 2014-04-15 14:24:57 -0700
There needs to be a change in the way school districts are funded LCFF and there needs to be a change in the way we deliver services to students Common Core, however if we do not change certain things such as Access, Experienced Teachers, Discipline, Seclusion and restraint and Preschool, We will be spending money and getting the same results.There is a gap and we have the data to show it.
signed 2014-04-15 14:11:43 -0700
Best thing would be to get rid of Common Core. Give control back to the communities.
signed 2014-04-15 14:10:45 -0700
There needs to be a renewed interest and dialog of the historical Gov. Edmund Brown’s document of Higher Education Plan in CA. Instead of trying to piece meal, CA needs a Ed Czar whose mission is a critical and honest reevaluation (SWOT) with bench marks/timelines. Gracias!
signed 2014-04-15 14:04:27 -0700
Direct funding for Career Technical Education and the regional occupational centers and programs. The categorical money was taken away, but the corresponding money was not added to the LCFF money, so schools will drop these vital programs. Restore this money with direct funding for the ROC/P system.
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