Sage Naumann: Putting the Carlsbad School District back on track

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Guest Commentary
by Sage Naumann

As many of you may know, if something isn’t done quickly, Carlsbad risks losing its high quality of education. Continued negligence on behalf of the current School Board has resulted in budget deficits, pink slips, and larger classroom sizes. The board has not listened to or even acknowledged the dozens of parents, teachers, concerned citizens, and even students that have consistently spoken out against underutilized facilities and simply bad fiscal policy.

Rational and logical options to save district resources and earn additional income are being ignored. A clear example of this ignorance can be seen at Magnolia Elementary, where sixteen open classrooms were put up to be leased by a private or charter school. “A bidding war…drove the price up beyond $450,000…Both schools backed away from their bids after trustees decided to spend another week reviewing the lease before accepting an offer” (North County Times, November 5th, 2012). This is not the decisive leadership Carlsbad Unified needs in this time of economic hardship. The final bid ended up being $200,000 less. Our board members need more conviction than that.

Our school board members are not listening. I’ve personally gone into classrooms and spoken with teachers, and I always ask what the communication is like with the board of trustees. I consistently get “nonexistent” as an answer. That is unacceptable. The school board and educators should work as a team, not as opposing entities. Developing a stronger relationship with teachers will not only streamline our ability to run the schools in the district, but it will also move towards transforming yearly negotiations from hostile arguments to friendly, constructive conversations.

And this is why I’ve decided to run for Carlsbad Unified School District Board of Trustees in 2014. I’ve spoken with educators, local officials, friends, family, and students regarding our situation in Carlsbad, and the input all seems to call for an end to the status quo. I’ve developed a simple, principled, and fundamental three-point plan for success in Carlsbad Unified. I’ve entitled it “Back to Basics”, because that’s what Carlsbad Unified needs to do. Let’s go back to basics and remember why we’re truly here, and let’s put children first. Below, you can see a more detailed explanation as to what Back to Basics truly entails.

Become Sustainable

You balance your checkbook, so should our school district. Become sustainable starts with expanding our revenues without raising taxes, eliminating bureaucratic waste, and making sure that every facility that Carlsbad Unified operates is being utilized. We can only blame the state’s funding mechanics for so long before we need to take our finances into our own hands. Here are a few of the strategies I’ll implement and push for if elected:

Push for a full audit on all district-owned facilities. Analyze which facilities are being under-utilized, and find ways to either populate them or turn them into revenue sources for the district.

Eliminate waste and bureaucracy. I will do everything I can to call into question purchases, staff and faculty additions, and other funding that seems unnecessary. We cannot afford to continue recklessly spending, and I will do everything I can to be a watchdog for the Carlsbad taxpayer.

Keep cuts away from the classroom. Our teachers and their classrooms are the foundation of our education system. Keeping class sizes small, materials available, and teachers stress-free and able to concentrate on their students is the best way to enhance our education system. No longer will we look to slashing department budgets to fill shortfalls. Those short-term “solutions” have a terrible impact on our classrooms, and I’ll do everything in my power to make sure we make cuts elsewhere before we touch the classroom.

Become Connected

Carlsbad is such a wonderful city. We are booming with new businesses, especially in the technological and medical fields. We have a grounded city government. Our parents and volunteers are some of the most dedicated people you’ll ever have the chance to meet. We need to tap into this valuable resource. It all begins by listening, communicating, and making an effort at being more transparent. I’ve met with members of our city council, and I’ve pledged my effort to work with them if elected to streamline services and to push Carlsbad forward together.

Become Modern

No longer will large bond measures be the way that we implement technology in the classrooms. Like any business does, new technology must also be tested with pilot programs to test their success. This is a business practice I will bring to Carlsbad Unified. Technology can be a great resource for our students, but only if its implemented efficiently and responsibly.

I want to bring computers to the classroom, but only where they will truly be utilized and accepted. It’s sad to see Proposition P dollars go towards computers for classrooms that have yet to even touch them, years after they’ve been put there. That won’t be an acceptable solution if I’m elected.

I hope you will consider pledging your support to my campaign so we can begin putting our wonderful school district back on track to success. To learn a bit more about me or to support my campaign, please visit my website: sagenaumann.com

You can also email me at any time at me@sagenaumann.com

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Comments 3

  1. Sage, you have add Common Core Standards that will take away local power too. Urge your local state legislators to defund CCSS.

  2. Ms. Right-

    I agree that Common Core Standards are not the correct way to address the curriculum issues in our state. I have already pledged my support against CCSS, and I will continue my advocacy against it throughout my campaign and if I am elected.

    Please feel free to email me at me@sagenaumann.com

    Thanks.

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