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Moreno Valley school board candidates answer questions on budget, coronavirus – Press-Enterprise


Three people are running in the Nov. 2 election to represent the Moreno Valley Unified School District’s Trustee Area 4.

The school board seat opened in June, after member Marsha Locke announced she had moved out of the district and was stepping down. The board voted to hold a special election to determine who would complete the rest of her four-year term. Trustee Area 4 is on the east side of Moreno Valley, between Alessandro Boulevard and Box Springs Road.

We asked the candidates questions about the budget, the biggest issues facing the district and the continuing challenge of the coronavirus pandemic. Here are their answers.

How would you ensure the district’s budget is balanced?

Robert Patrick Alexander: Focus on student success as a priority, working diligently with other school board members, school staff, community partners and parents.

Brandy Clark: A budget is a statement of values, and we need adequacy in core services while addressing our evolving needs. A balanced budget involves working collaboratively to understand previous or current goals, assess priorities and create an inclusive process that engages stakeholders and our community.

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Viridiana Elizalde: We need to encourage public oversight and scrutiny to make sure that public funds are put to good use. This practice is done with every bond measure, but we should have an oversight committee for pandemic funds.

What is the biggest issue facing the school district and what would you do to address it?

Alexander: Student success with relevant knowledge, skills and learning that will transition in the job market, create new opportunities for our students that will link to relevant job opportunities in the current job market.

Clark: The biggest issue we need to tackle is equity, as it is symbiotic to other matters concerning our children. This is rooted in my seeking public office to be a voice for families and identify where we rethink service delivery, but mindful of our impact on every child entering our classrooms.

Elizalde: With two resignations in one year, parents don’t know who to reach if they have questions regarding programs and services the district has to offer. With so many changes in the past year, we need a proactive and responsive school board that will help parents and not just point them to a website.

What can be done to ensure the safety of students and staff on campus as the coronavirus pandemic continues?

Alexander: As a parent and an employee of the MVUSD, I can understand concerns. Health and the security of schools needs to be the top property. Maintain and align protocols with the latest CDC, local, state and federal public health officials to be followed.

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Clark: The pandemic has impacted us all, and collectively, we must plan to address the dynamics of the learning environment and student needs. We must work with the community to administer a plan that is inclusive but prioritizes safety. We must come together; our children are looking to us for leadership.

Elizalde: The last thing our students need is another shutdown. School board members need to inspect schools and ensure that they have adequate sanitation supplies. Additionally, the district needs to continue to provide options for distance learning for students and teachers who can’t get vaccinated.



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