Address Parents’ Rejection of SUSD
Enrollment in Scottsdale public schools is down approximately 430 students from September 2021 to September 2022. (Synergy). A recent exit survey reveals that parents are concerned about failing academics, politically-charged classrooms, the promotion of ideological and anti-American rhetoric, and that they lack faith in the SUSD administration and the board. When I’m on the board, parental input will guide decisions made. I plan to partner with parents to curate the best educational experience for our children.
2. Reverse Enrollment Decline & Loss of Funding
When families leave SUSD, a large portion of the $14,643 per student follows the child out of the district. Our current boards’ solution is merely a $156,000 social media campaign to attract new families. We cannot market our way out of this problem, nor should taxpayers’ foot the bill. We must restore academic excellence, close the achievement gap, and create a culture students will thrive in.
3. Pay Teachers First
Although enrollment is down, SUSD increased administrative staff overhead. The Arizona legislature approved an additional $1 billion in year-over-year education spending, bringing the total K-12 spending for this year to $8.45 billion. In addition, federal funding and property taxes brings that total to $14.88 billion. Governor Ducey called on school board members to ensure these funds are directed to teachers. I commit to using my vote to prioritize those funds for teachers’ salaries and funding our classrooms first.
4. Improve Academic Performance
With less than 37% of SUSD 10th graders proficient in math and ELA, a strategy to improve academic scores must be clearly stated, aggressive, and measurable. Yet, SUSD’s strategic development plan treats academics as an afterthought. We must get back to focusing on the basics. My commitment is to ensure that achievement programs will improve student proficiency and mastery of academic standards.
5. Ensure Student Safety
We must ensure the safety of our schools through support of our valued School Resource Officers (SROs), partnerships with the Scottsdale Police Department, and continuous review and improvement of our safety procedures. The Arizona legislature has approved $50 million in ongoing funding for school safety, supporting school resource officer salaries, and $20 million for the school safety interoperability program, which provides funding to county sheriffs for real-time communication solutions between schools and public safety agencies in the event of an emergency.
6. Remove Politics from the Classroom
We must develop students' interests, not identities. Politics and ideological rhetoric should have no place in our classrooms. I will work to remove the divisive curriculum that has been swept into our schools, restoring our education of revered American principles and ensure every student has the opportunity to thrive.
This is my vision. If it’s yours too, let’s stand together.
Vote for Carine Werner and Amy Carney for Scottsdale School Board on November 8, 2022.
Carine Werner is a mom of three running for Scottsdale Unified Governing Board. Learn more about Carine at wernerforsusd.com.