Focus Daily News sent the following questions to ALL candidates running for Mansfield ISD School Board. We do not edit the answers in any way and publish them exactly as they were submitted to us.
Mansfield ISD School Board Place 5 Candidate: Le Keishia Dawkins
Please provide a high-level overview of your past engagement/experiences, and those of your children, with regards to the school district for which you are running for school board trustee.
I am a former parent of the district. My attended school in MISD as a transfer student. She was in active in Fine Arts Programs, an honor roll student and received 504 service. As a parent I had the opportunity to work the SPED and 504 team regarding her needs. Additionally, I was a parent volunteer working with the Band and Color Guard Teams.
What is your vision for education in our district/community? More financial investment, expanding academic programs like JROTC & CTE, be specific.
My vision for the district is to see all children of the district having the same opportunities regardless of socioeconomic status, family structure, race, special needs, etc.
What does advocacy mean to you and how will you advocate for the students & teachers?
Advocacy to me is how I publicly support people of issues facing the community. Teachers are our frontline in serving our students. I plan to always support, privately and publicly, the relevant needs of both which effect the learning environment for both teachers and students.
In such a competitive marketplace, how will you tackle teacher and staff recruitment and retention? Have you spoken with teachers in the district about their concerns/challenges and do you feel like they are being heard?
I believe the best was to handle teacher and staff recruitment and retention is identify the root cause as to why teachers are leaving and address those things. District teachers I have spoken with have stated they are leaving or considering leaving do the recent stress of the pandemic, for higher paying jobs in other areas of education or different fields altogether. The have also noted issues with classroom discipline being a reason for them desiring to leave.
When dealing with school finances, approving a budget and set tax rates, how do you honor the taxpayer as you consider district’s fund balance?
To meet any of the identified needs, money is needed. Providing taxpayers with an overview or summary of how taxpayer dollars are being spent or how proposed dollars will be spent is important as the district
What is your stance on Equity in Education? In addition to the role of the DEI, what additional steps should be taken to meet the needs of EVERY Student in this District?
Equity or ensuring every student has what they need to have the same opportunities is paramount. In addition to the hard work being done in the equity committees, it is important to continue to survey and assess the needs and effectiveness of the students to determine if the needs of each student are indeed being met.
Do you agree with how the District responded to the Covid-19 Pandemic and if not, what would you have done differently?
I feel as if the district did a good job in response to Covid-19. The district continues to evaluate the pandemic to make continued decisions in compliance local, state, and federal laws and guidelines.
What do you plan to do to address training at the campus levels to make sure IEP and or 504s are implemented?
I would recommend training in this area is ongoing and addressed at every training opportunity.
What are your views on banning certain books from classrooms and libraries? What in your opinion, makes a book “okay” to ban?
I understand the approved reading list for schools is done at the state level and not by the local districts. I also feel all reading material should be age appropriate for the intended reader easily assessable to said readers.
How do you rank social emotional learning in the school board priorities, especially considering struggles due to covid?
I rank social emotional learning needs as a high school board priority. The social emotional needs and status of the learner is important to the success of their education and can/will be affected by different stimuli including but not limited to covid-19.
Our country has recently seen a movement to introduce politics into every facet of society, including public education and school board campaigns and operations, which have traditionally been non-partisan. What role, if any, do you believe politics plays in the role of a school board trustee?
I do not believe school boards or elections are political. However, with the change of things going on in our communities and culture, the election of trustees has become political in nature. Once elected, trustees do not have a political obligation, but have the responsibility to collectively make ongoing decisions that best benefit the students and districts in which they serve.
School board trustees are elected to be leaders and to handle what can be difficult decisions at times. Please describe your leadership style-provide an example.
I would describe my leadership style as open minded. I prefer to listen to all facts and opinions involved before making any decisions on any issue.
For more information on Le Keishia Dawkins please check out her campaign website.
Early Voting: April 25, 2022 – May 3, 2022
Election Day May 7, 2022