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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Alameda County, CA November 6, 2012 Election
Smart Voter

Sara Lamnin
Answers Questions

Candidate for
Board Member; Hayward Unified School District


The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of the Eden Area and asked of all candidates for this office.
Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).

Questions & Answers

1. (School funding priorities) With school district budgets throughout the state cut to the bone, what would you cut and what would you avoid cutting if Prop 30 doesn't pass and "trigger cuts" to education are implemented?

With 15 years of non-profit experience, I know how to accomplish much with few funds. Too often, policy makers look first to cutting existing services and front line staff. Instead, I would examine our costs and seek opportunities for efficiency, such as centralized purchasing, increasing attendance, and student retention. When I managed the Kinship Program for grandparents and other relatives raising children, I tripled the size of our department with the same amount of funding by putting the needs of our children first. Later, I decreased my hours as manager to preserve direct services to families. As a School Board Member, I would use this same inclusive decision making process to use our budget dollars as effectively and efficiently as possible.

2. (Board Member effectiveness) How would you go about improving student achievement, gaining the trust of the teaching and classified staff, and ensuring transparency and open communication with parents?

To improve student achievement, we must give students and teachers the tools they need to succeed. That means creating policies that enable teachers to reach students with a broad diversity of learning styles. Similarly, we need multiple methods of communication (digital and face to face) in order to rebuild the trust in our district. I am passionately committed to involving people in the solutions that affect their lives and have spent my professional career developing opportunities for youth, parents, front line staff, administrators, and community members to be included in the decision making process.

3. (Superintendent performance objectives) If elected to the board, what kind of performance objectives would you set for the new Superintendent?

To evaluate the Superintendent, I would consider the following questions: Has he visited all of the campuses in our district? Has he provided leadership and vision that puts students first and enables our district to excel? How well is he engaging the community in our district?

4. (Board focus) Parents, teachers and the media have cited the "incivility" of some board members as a factor that hinders the board from important governance decisions. What would and can you do to ensure that the board stays focused on giving all students an opportunity at a good education?

I have navigated conflicts between co-workers, between large groups with a great deal of mistrust for each other, and with individuals who assumed I could not possibly be of help. By listening, demonstrating respect, and maintaining professionalism and transparency, I brought these relationships to productive partnership. I will bring these skills to our board so that we can stay focused on our students, make decisions in a timely manner, and demonstrate the excellence we should expect from our elected leaders.

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League.  Candidates' responses are presented as submitted. Direct references to opponents are not permitted.

Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: October 8, 2012 13:25
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