Lisa’s Platform

Transparency in Testing - Lisa believes  that PISD should implement Transparency in Testing at the district level. 

Transparency in Testing is the necessary and first step towards answering concerns and implementing improvements so that we might spend your tax dollars wisely.

There is a need to understand the cost of our extensive testing program against the backdrop of its benefits so that both the school district and the state can take proper steps with regards to testing.

Cost components of testing include:

Direct testing program costs.  These costs are either directly or indirectly mandated by the state. They include the cost of testing materials, administration, proctoring, reporting, and providing security to name a few.

Curriculum Cost.  The more time we spend testing, the less time we spend learning.  

Student Cost. Test scores are not an absolute representation of mastery or intelligence; but they do magnify student stress.  Also, since so much time is spent in test preparation and pretesting, the remaining learning pace is much too great a demand on many of the students. 

Transparency in testing requires the true monetary cost of STAAR testing to be reported. 

Michael Messer, who has endorsed Lisa’s candidacy, has written legislation for Transparency in Testing, which has been introduced as HB2002 in the state legislature by Jeff Leach. Lisa supports this legislation, but if it fails then she will support implementing this policy at the district level. Only once this happens can the state of Texas and the district have an honest conversation about STAAR testing. 

SAT/ACT Preparation - Lisa supports efforts to expand access to affordable SAT/ACT preparation. The extent this is done depends on the resources available to the district. Currently, the district is having financial difficulty due to Robin Hood and the lack of state funding. Therefore, given the current financial situation this might be more limited to integrating SAT courses with existing English and Math classes. However if the legislature procures more funds there could be free SAT/ACT classes provided in their own right.

Bullying and Mental Health - Lisa believes we need to take proactive steps to stop bullying among students and stand against actions targeted towards marginalized groups.  She supports education of students regarding the dangers of bullying and how to deal with it. She believes that no student or teacher should be discriminated against because of their background. She supports and would advocate for recent efforts by the school district to implement programs which support emotional wellbeing. She also supports guaranteeing there is at least one counselor on campus dedicated full time to the emotional wellbeing of students.  

Safety remains an issue, but the twist is the increase in cyber-bullying and its devastating effect.  This needs a new emphasis in our anti-bullying efforts. As it is so hard to influence what happens off school property, the approach should include parent and student education as well as assistance to the teacher as to what the signs of such bullying may be. More emotional wellbeing resources should also improve safety. 

School Financing-The school district could be in financial trouble in the next few years due to the formula for Robin Hood being broken, requiring recapture obligations that are simply out of control. In addition, the recapture payments do not go directly to schools in need but rather towards the general fund. Unfortunately, the district cannot directly act to fix Robin Hood. As a school board member, Lisa will be an advocate at the legislature for fixing the Robin Hood formula so that recapture obligations are not out of control. She also will lobby for increased school funding, in order for recapture obligations to be lowered, in order for schools to have more funding and also so that property taxes can be lowered. She will also oppose any school voucher efforts, which will only take away money from our public schools. In addition, she will take a skeptical look towards property tax breaks to corporations in the district and only will support tax incentives that involve the corporations in question delivering tangible benefits directly to our students or teachers. A vague guarantee of more jobs in the district, which may not even go to our graduates, is not sufficient enough of a reason for giving tax dollars away when money is so limited. She also supports having advertisements on school busses as a way to raise revenue. 

Individual Needs - Lisa, as a certified Special Education teacher, recognizes the individual needs of each  student. She will continue to advocate for Special Ed programs in Plano ISD as well as English as a Second Language.  She will be attentive to any parent who expresses their individual concerns to the PISD School Board, knowing that that parent probably speaks for many other parents and students.

LGBT Rights Lisa is a strong supporter of LGBT rights. As school board member, she would support extending anti-discrimination policies to the LGBT community. She will advocate against any anti-LGBT policies in the state legislature. She also supports the rights of LGBT students to form support groups on campus. 

Communication  Lisa supports the district developing a mobile application for students and parents to get notifications on. Mass texting technologies can be used. She also supports using emails. The district should encourage the increased use of mass texting with students. 

Environment  – Lisa supports emphasizing environmental stewardship to our students and, within the district’s financial means, making the district more environmentally friendly. She supports every school making use of recycling and composting. 

Internships – Lisa is supportive of internship and externship opportunities. A lot of these opportunities are already made available by the district for STEM fields, but improvement could be made in non-STEM areas. 

Regional Representation-Lisa believes that the time has come to change from at large representation on the school board to regional representation. She believes this will increase diversity on the school board and lead to a broader set of interests being heard.

Reducing Out of School Suspensions-Lisa supports policies which reduce out of school suspensions. Out of school suspensions disproportionately impact students of color and take students out of a safe learning environment. Therefore, alternatives should be used when possible.