We need a district that knows how to communicate with its residents and its parents. We need accountability when we are being treated in a way that needs to be improved. During the pandemic, we were told in public meetings by some teachers that they are not our kids' babysitters. The District also in the middle of the pandemic closed schools while at the same time asking the taxpayers for funding. If we focus on Care and Accountability, then I'm convinced that we can solve the problems that we face.
As the Mayor of Cupertino, I worked to ensure that we have a popular event for raising mental health awareness. This has become our most popular student event that we hold. More recently, I worked to bring an Augmented Reality Workshop to our community, open to all age groups and across socioeconomic boundaries. I believe that real equity is achievable, but it requires foresight and work.
My approach to public monetary stewardship is based upon a common-sense approach that trust and money have to be earned. The way we have enough financial resources is that we exercise care over what we spend, and we put into place mechanisms that ensure that our resources are not being misused. When we were faced with budget shortfalls for cleaning up our highways, I led teams of volunteers to clean up our off-ramps and parks, and I brought the Volunteer Fair back to Cupertino because I know that volunteering forms the civic core and backbone of our society. Real fiscal responsibility requires understanding our system.
Once we have the basics down properly, then we can start to interface with the public successfully. I would, for instance, have more community days where members of the public get involved and have a sense of connection to our school spaces. This does not need to be costly at all. For example, I have seen more than one CUSD campus where a fair amount of litter is on the ground. Similar to what I have done in the City of Cupertino, we can get members of the public together to help clean up the grounds. We should get students involved with this as well. Stewardship is developed not by being told, but by working together.
We need to fulfill a good quality of education that includes Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Music (S.T.E.A.M.) in basic education. I will work to provide expanded opportunities to develop children’s strength and talents.
One thing that I’ve learned in my time in public office is that a lot of the problems facing society right now are multi-faceted. We need to be making an approach to education that recognizes the complexities inherent in what we are seeking to achieve. At the same time, we need to simplify a lot of our unnecessary complications. If I can convey one idea, it’s that we have enough problems without having to make them more confusing by not being accurate or fair with each other. That’s how, for instance, I approached the inaugural Cupertino Mayor’s Cup this past year, where we addressed the issue of non-recyclable plastics and followed-up on the work with questions to panelists published on the event page, and with similar events.
Darcy Paul for School Board 2022