*Candidate responses were not modified or altered.
Q1. The resurgence of Black Lives Matter has shined a spotlight on the failure of police departments throughout the country to truly ensure public safety. What would you do to address school police and discriminatory punishment procedures in regards to black and immigrant students?
Q2. In addition to school police, how would you address racial injustice in education?
Q3. COVID-19 has devastated local budgets. What would you do to address budget shortfalls in the school district?
A1. The WCSD Police Department (WCSD PD) is made up of about 35 dedicated and highly trained and diverse sworn officers. The question unfairly seems to assume that the WCSD PD “punishes” minorities. Discipline is a WCSD Admin procedure outside of the PD. I support WCSD PD and how they work hard to keep the 64,000 students and staff safe and reasonably enforce the law. That said I do favor a form of civilian oversight for law enforcement- see below.
A2. From above, I favor a civilian Inspector General (IG) that would provide oversight, inquiries and investigations into any district-wide issues. Many school districts have an “IG”. The present overall WCSD system is dysfunctional besieged by lawsuits, poor morale and now a fiscal tsunami!
However please- let’s address the more pressing issues. WCSD is facing a massive budget cut due to 3 factors: See Below.
Also Nevada ranks last or near last by any measure. For example out ACT scores at WCSD fell from above national average of 20.5 to 17.9. Statewide we are slightly below at 17.7. About 40 of our schools are state rated below average and about 26 average. Average is not OK! These are a top priority! We must address the budget now and improve the quality of education. We must be innovative and think outside the box but we must act, the time for talk has passed.
A3. WCSD is taking three major fiscal hits of titanic proportions:
#1 Covid tax reductions: both sales and property tax. Major hits!
#2: Legislative reductions ($15-17 Million!)
#3: The Incline $20 million lawsuit settlement.
A board member is a team player and I have ideas to bring to the table and research. One idea is to revamp WC1 Sales Tax to allow uses other than endless building & repairs, i.e. hiring teachers. WCSD is in serious financial trouble! We can’t print money. The present system is dysfunctional, change is needed. This is a simple choice, if you are happy with the broken, failing system then re-elect the incumbents. If not I’m the get ‘er done candidate. I have two college degrees, retired USAF Lieutenant Colonel (Reserve Commission), retired Reno PD Sergeant and I ran a 501(c)3 homeless center as board president. I care deeply about At-Risk children and have a plan. I am a Spanish speaker and understand ESL issues.
Scott Kelley (Incumbent)
No responses or photo submitted
Q1. What are your top 2 priorities for the Washoe County School District?
Q2. How would you increase the resources needed for our students and teachers to be successful?
Q3. How would you ensure that all of our students and teachers learn and work in a safe school environment?
Q4. How would you ensure a welcoming and inclusive environment for marginalized communities, such as people of color and religious minorities, in our schools?
A1. Improve failing system & fiscal responsibility. Did you know that from 2007 to now our ACT scores fell from 22 to under 18? 22 will get you into many universities such as UNR, 18 won’t! Most grads can’t get into TMCC! It will get you into McDonalds!
Fiscal Responsibility! Did you know the cost of a high school skyrocketed from $36 million in 2003 to a proposed $110 in 2016 to $252.7++ for Hugg High? And WCSD drags its feet on doing an audit to see why. Too much money also spend on so many lawsuits that could have been prevented. Did you know that WCSD has a billion dollar budget? We need leadership! I’m a retired USAF Lieutenant Colonel and retired Reno Police Sergeants. I’m simply the best candidate for needed change. I’m a problem solver but also welcome negotiation.
A2. I am a proven leader & problem solver, the only one on the ballot! I have a plan to shift resources from building too many schools to hiring & retaining teachers and staff. I taught Recruiting nationwide and we need to “think outside the box” to support our teachers. Enrollment is flat and in a recession would decrease. I have a win-win plan. Watch Dog Jeff is looking out for you. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results! Re-electing incumbents is insanity! Did you know we built 3 new schools without any money for new teachers? I have a specific plan for ESL- I’m a Spanish speaker- I understand the issues. Now here’s perhaps the #1 issue for failure: many students face homelessness, lack of parental oversight, families suffering from drug issues, and now unemployment. WCSD can’t ignore what happens after school and weekends! Think outside the box! Help our at risk kids! I ran a 501c3 homeless center as board president, saw it!
A3. I’m a retired Reno Police Sergeant and USAF Intelligence Officer! Who better qualified. The State School safety Task force had many good ideas, especially in watching the warning signs. But when things go bad we need a better plan. Technology, safe area, a multi prong approach. But also we need to support our teachers from abusive students. Get tough. Behave or get out. Teachers can’t teach in fear. Ignoring students who act out is like ignoring early signs of cancer.
A4. This may be a surprise but overall, WCSD does a good job here. Equal rights, open discussion, no hate, fairness! But regardless of who they are, disadvantaged At-Risk kids need attention and the parents need to be prodded to be parents. That part WCSD needs to improve on. Likewise I want to address (I’ll say it again) “think outside the box” approaches to help students that lack English language skills. Again my leadership background: Nationwide instructor on Recruiting, Retired police leader and Air Force Officer, Two College Degrees (Southwestern College with honors), multiple police & military classes on Leadership, Active Shooter, Air Command & Staff College, etc.
Scott Kelley (Incumbent)
No responses or photo submitted
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