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Linda Valdes: Candidates speak out on Castaic high

Posted: August 1, 2009 5:48 p.m.
Updated: August 2, 2009 4:55 a.m.
My parents were both self-employed, small-business owners.

They owned a restaurant, several hair salons and dabbled in real estate.

My family has a long history in agriculture, initially working in the fields until they owned property/ranches of their own.

I come from an incredibly strong work ethic and business-minded lineage.

I worked right alongside my parents growing up, and watched them manage budgets through incredibly difficult financial times.
In terms of financial reports and school funding, we must remember that there are restrictions and strict compliance regulations on how monies are to be spent in education.

Accountability is built into the system.

As an educator for the past 12 years, I have an understanding of school budgets, of where our funding comes from and how we are to spend it, whether it be general funds, school improvement funds or categorical funds to meet the diverse needs of our sub-groups, including Title 1 and EIA students, etc.

I am in the process of co-authoring a financial literacy curriculum geared toward high school age students, to be used in conjunction with the book, "Money Talks."

As a Hart district school board member with the role of determining educational policy, it is critical to continually take the time to make inquiries, and to gather and analyze data, in all matters that affect the Hart district and our students.

I successfully chaired the Measure SA $300 million bond for Hart school district.

I advocated on its behalf, despite the opposition.

This bond will help us not only maintain our great schools, but also relieve high school overcrowding by adding a school in the Castaic area.

Local voters agreed. A total of 59,287 votes were cast in support of Measure SA.

Over 60 percent of our voting community wants Castaic high school to be built!

I have the intestinal fortitude to push it forward with the same determination I chaired the Yes on Measure SA bond.

Establishing open lines of communication and respectful dialogue when facing any form of adversity is key.

Ultimately, we must authentically put the best interest of our students at the forefront of all decisions made.

Our local high schools and junior high schools prepare our students to the highest academic standards in the state.

In order to maintain that level of excellence, we must always recognize that - whether we are reviewing financial reports, overseeing construction or evaluating program quality - we do so for our most cherished and valuable investment ... our students.

Linda Valdes is a Canyon Country resident and teaches third grade at Rio Vista Elementary School. She is a candidate for the William S. Hart Union High School District board election Nov. 3. Her column reflects her own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.


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