Saturday, 18 May 2024

Ravenwoode: Priorities in running for Lake County Office of Education Board of Trustees

I am a candidate running for the Lake County Office of Education Board of Trustees, Kelseyville Area 5.

As a California credentialed public school educator, I have 30 years of experience teaching history, government and science in our public schools; and remaining involved in education issues. During this time, I have become increasingly concerned about the condition of education in our nation, state and county.

My first concern is the lack of funding to adequately support our site administrators, counselors, teachers and support staff, as they engage in daily efforts to provide quality education for our children.

Over the last three decades I have personally witnessed the effect of funding reductions to public schools and its impact on students and teachers.

Reduced finding translates to:

– Larger class sizes, which reduces student learning levels. One way to increase a child’s learning level is by placing them in smaller sized classes. Here they can more easily focus. To achieve smaller class sizes, we must hire more teachers.

– Fewer classrooms in which to serve our student’s academic needs. One reason for oversized classes is the inadequate number of existing classrooms. Due to funding cuts the necessary number of additional classrooms, have not been built on school campuses.

– Shortage of teachers and support staff: One reason for the current shortage of teachers / support staff, is that both are underpaid. We need to increase salaries, which will increase the number of qualified people hired and needed to help our students learn.

– Under addressed problems of at-risk students. Due to the decreased number of counselors, the needs of these students go unaddressed or under addressed. An increased number of qualified counselors, can more adequately assist these students, which can in turn, improves their learning levels.

– Lack of competitive salaries for our educators and para-educators. Lake County is bordered by both Napa and Sonoma Counties, which offer higher salaries. In order to hire a larger number of qualified teachers, we need to offer salaries more competitive with those counties, or undergo longer periods of our current staff shortage.

– Lack of vocational education and college prep classes. Lake County needs the funding to offer all the following opportunities to our children: More vocational education programs offered in all school districts (for students who chose not to attend college); more advanced placement classes (for students who want to attend college); more services for students who want to attend college (but do not have the financial support). We need to hire people to assist these students in keeping their grades up, so they can achieve college entry; and find the funding sources to help them reach their goals.

All of the above college assistance / vocational educational options require working with our community colleges.

– Public school atmosphere: Over the last 30 years, I have observed an increase in bullying, both inside our classrooms and outside on campus. This problem creates anxiety for our children. And while schools are aware of and do their best to address this disruption, they do not have the adequate staffing to address all aspects of this growing problem.

I have met and worked with excellent educators in Lake County. These hardworking people keep our public schools functioning and children learning. They deserve our respect. The best way to provide that is with better working conditions, and an increased salary, commensurate with their talents and dedication.

To summarize, if elected, I will give my best faith efforts to initiate and further the processes of:
– increasing funds to reduce class sizes;
– building more classrooms;
– hiring more teachers, counselors and support staff;
– increasing salaries for teachers and support staff;
– offering more vocational education courses; providing more services to assist students who seek to go to college; and
– hiring well trained staff to address bullying on school campuses.

The above goals will take time and consistent work efforts. And I would like to make a difference in Lake County public school education. Accomplishing the above will take creative ideas to obtain more funding from federal and state governments, an assertive grant writing program, local fundraisers and seeking other financially available options.

Please consider voting for me. The children of Lake County are worth our time. Giving them a solid educational background is one of the best ways to show we care.

Anna Rose Ravenwoode was born in Oakland, raised in Sonoma County and has lived in Lake County, Calif., for 18 years. She has taught in both Lake and Sonoma Counties in the public school system.

Upcoming Calendar

05.18.2024 7:30 am - 1:00 pm
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05.18.2024 8:00 am - 11:00 am
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