Why Nichole is running:

Common Sense Issues

The primary role of schools is to ensure that students are learning math, reading, writing, science, history, and civics. Below is a graph of the 2022 proficiency rates for PVUSD, Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD), and the average for all Arizona students. It compares proficiency rates in math, English language arts, and science. SUSD is used for comparison since they are in our peer group, as defined by the state of Arizona, and they share a district boundary line with us.

We must acknowledge there is an issue so we can address it. PVUSD schools used to be a leader in academic achievement.

As a school board member, I will refocus expectations so that academic achievement is our primary goal.

One of the board’s legal responsibilities is to approve the budget for the district. Our district has experienced declining enrollment, which resulted in a decline in funding. PVUSD recently voted to close three schools to help balance the budget. Even with those closures there are still anticipated shortfalls that will likely require additional cuts. The district needs someone who not only understands finance and accounting, but who can also spot savings opportunities. Those savings not only reduce expenditures but can potentially re-direct funding towards our teachers and classrooms.

Using Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) for comparison we can see that their average teacher pay is significantly more than PVUSD (see graphic below). Most of that difference is from performance pay. One would assume that SUSD must have more spending per student to be able to pay their teachers more.  The facts don’t support that assumption.

When I am on the school board, I will use my prior experience in finance to help identify areas of savings so that we can better reward our teachers. This action will continue to attract and retain quality teachers and drive academic excellence for students.

Parents’ engagement is necessary for students to achieve their potential.  Studies have repeatedly shown that students with involved parents perform better academically, behaviorally, and socially. As a district, we need to encourage parents to engage in their children’s education. This will not only help students’ school success, but also help instill trust from parents in PVUSD schools. Increased trust also has the side effect of a greater likelihood of parents maintaining their children’s enrollment in our schools.

I will ensure that we encourage parent engagement in their children’s education. I will help build parental trust by pledging we are open and transparent about what is happening in their schools. This will also foster a stronger parent-teacher bond, benefiting everyone.

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