Fresno Bee voter guide

Welcome to our guide for Election 2016 races. Compare candidates' views side by side, then create your own ballot, which you can print or email.

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Golden Valley Unified School District Area 3

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  • Warren Parr

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    Andy Wheeler

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Biographical Information

Were you pleased with how district officials spent new Local Control Funding Formula dollars this past school year? How would you like to see the new dollars spent this year?

School districts across the state are adjusting to the new Common Core standards. Is the district doing enough to prepare teachers and students for the new standards? What, if anything, would you change about how schools transition to this new way of teaching?

In your opinion, what are the district's top three challenges? How would you address each of these issues?

Do you favor or oppose Proposition 55, which would extend by 12 years the temporary income tax increase enacted in 2012 to support schools and colleges?

Is technology in education important? Is the district doing enough to get devices into the hands of kids? If so, how would you help improve access to technology, especially for low-income or other at-risk students?

Why are you the best candidate to serve on the school board? (Text or YouTube video.)

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Age 45
Residence Madera
Occupation Financial Advisor
Public service experience This is my first public run
Facebook/Social media Andy Wheeler for GVUSD School Board
I think the existing board has done the best they possibly could. With the states formula of unequal funding to our district, we find ourselves at an extreme disadvantage to surrounding areas. With a considerable smaller student number and about 20% less funding per student as compared to places like Fresno Unified and Madera Unified, the GVUSD board has been able to maintain a balanced budget and achieve great academic results.
The change to Common Core standards is still very new and there will need to be several adjustments to ensure that the implementation is as successful as possible. Older students will struggle with this for the next several years as this is not what they have worked with most of their educational careers. The teachers appear to feel supported in their education and preparation of these new standards.
Funding is our number one challenge. Unfortunately the state has unequally applied LCFF funds to each district and the only control we have at a board level under the current rules is to encourage an increase in attendance by enticing in new students. The second issue is teachers' wages.Because of the funding we find ourselves losing great teachers to surrounding districts. This has become a problem because as our teachers gain years of experience the wage gap expands. The state's decision in the last several years to give one time funding bonuses instead of an increase to our annual funding on a steady basis does not make it prudent to try and close this gap. The answer to this is support our teachers and staff ensure that they are aware of how much they are valued and needed to achieve our end goal of developing our kids. As the district grows, we must ensure that loyalty is rewarded. Our third is availability of solid Ag and Vocation Education opportunities for our students. The district has become known for its academic achievement; however, we need to ensure that our students leave high school they have been exposed to practical opportunities which can lead to employment and/or further education. Not all students see college as the next step in their lives, and those that do also need to see what careers their continued education can lead them to. With the funding being received from new developments, we need to broaden the offerings for our students.
I reluctantly favor Proposition 55. I am not generally in support of increasing taxes in a state that already finds itself as one of the top taxed states in the nation, but the schools can not see the decline in funding again as we saw in 2008. As the tax revenues taken in by the state have increased in the last several years, we should have seen a return of the traditional funding measures applied prior to 2008. Because this is not the case and we continue to rely on special funding measures, such as Prop 30 which sunsets in part this year, we must rely on Prop 55 to replace it. I encourage all of you to contact your state representative's office and tell them that our children's educational funding must be brought back as a priority and that these temporary patches are not the long term answer.
Technology plays a huge role in the world overall; therefore we need to continue to encourage it in our schools. Our schools have made tablets and laptops available to each student now at the high school and middle school levels. Where we need to spend the time and energy is ensuring that the teachers understand how they can incorporate it into their daily lessons. The more they use it interactively with their students the better prepared for the world our students will be.
As the only candidate with a child still in the district, I understand better what is needed not only from the boardroom but from the parents and students' perspective. I enter this position with an open mind and an intent to champion this district forward. We have celebrated many successes in our few years as our own district, but there is still lots of room for continued growth. I am proud of the broad support I have received from parents, staff, and community members alike and believe this is because I share their view of what our future should look like as well as the ability to help move our board and district forward in a professional, thoughtful manner.