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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
School

Oceanside Unified School DistrictCandidate for Trustee, Trustee Area 3

Photo of Stacy Begin

Stacy Begin

Teacher/Advocate/Parent
2,596 votes (51.9%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Make Oceanside Unified an accountability driven district that makes informed decisions about educational programs, staffing and resources by collecting data to make decisions using input from all stakeholders.
  • Significantly increase School Board and District collaboration and involvement with all stakeholders including teachers, support staff, parents, and community to build relationships and improve transparency.
  • Work collaboratively with teachers, parents and community to support student learning.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Teacher/Advocate/Parent
Staff Consultant, California Teachers Association (2008–current)
University Professor, National UNiversity (2003–current)
Commissioner, California Advisory Commission on Special Education — Appointed position (2006–2010)
Special Education Teacher, Oceanside Unified School District (1997–2005)
Special Education Teacher, Solana Beach School District (1996–1997)
Special Education Teacher, Los Angeles Unified School District (1994–1996)

Education

Argosy University Doctorate Degree, Curriculum and Instruction K-12 (2005)
National University Masters Degree, Educational Administration (1998)
National University Masters Degree, Special Education (1995)
California Polytechnic University, Pomona Bachelors in Science, Home Economics (1993)

Community Activities

Committee Member, School Site Council- Reynolds Elementary (2016–current)
Committee Member, Oceanside Unified School District Local Control Accountability Plan Stakeholder Committee (2017–current)
Committee Member, Oceanside Unified Two- Way Bilingual Immersion Committee (2017–current)
Representative, California Staff Organization (2016–current)

Biography

I am a National Board Certified Teacher with over 25 years of experience in public education. I have been a classroom special education teacher in Oceanside Unified, a University Professor and I currently work for California Teachers Association. In my current position, I support labor management relations in 13 school districts in San Diego County. In this rewarding profession, I advocate for students, conduct trainings, research and analyze district finances, special education, and curriculum.  As a staff person with the California Teachers Association, I am skilled at negotiations and follow the Educational Employment Relations Act (EERA). The most important part of the process is communication and dialogue to establish common interests and mutual trust. As a schoolboard member, I will be directing the district bargaining team and overseeing the negotiations to ensure the management is bargaining in good faith and being transparent with labor groups both the Oceanside Teachers Association and CSEA.  

 

My experience as a classroom teacher and background in education has resulted in dedication to high expectations for all students.  As a classroom teacher I learned that the key to student success is collaboration between the district, teachers, staff and parents.

I am also a proud parent of a 5th grade student enrolled in the only dual language immersion program in Oceanside Unified. I am committed to this school district and the success of ALL students. 

Unfortunately, there has been a clear disconnect in our district and lack of authentic collaboration. I was motivated to run by my recent experience advocating with other parents for the expansion of the Dual language program into middle and high schools. My experience with school district leadership and the school board was frustrating and unnecessarily challenging. That experience led to me to connect with other parents in our community.

I have been successful in reinventing our parent committees and creating meaningful opportunities for parent engagement. Over the last three years, I worked with the district to improve our District Parent Advisory Committee – including designing the agendas, coordinating locations, and worked with the Oceanside Teachers to provide food and childcare for our meetings. These improvements led to a significant increase in committee attendance.  Parents now provide critical input for our local control accountability plan. As a school board member, I am committed to actively engaging parents, families and teachers in conversations and decision making; I will bring citizen groups together on matters critical to student success.  

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • San Diego Democratic Pary
  • North County Labor Alliance
  • Oceanside Teachers Association

Questions & Answers

Questions from The League of Women Voters North County San Diego (4)

What are the pressing problems of this school district, in your opinion, and what experience do you bring to the Board that will help address these problems?
Answer from Stacy Begin:

Oceanside Unified is struggling with finances, declining enrollment and with the recent tense contract negotiations with the teachers, these issues have alienated the community, parents and staff. There has been a clear disconnect in our district and lack of authentic collaboration between stakeholders. As a staff person with CTA I am skilled at negotiations and follow the EERA. The most important part of the process is communication and dialogue to establish common interests and mutual trust. As a schoolboard member I will be directing the district bargaining team and overseeing the negotiations to ensure the management is bargaining in good faith and being transparent with labor groups both Oceanside Teachers Association and CSEA. I strongly believe in an accountability driven district that makes informed decisions about educational programs, staffing and resources.  I will work with trustees to set clear priorities, sensibly allocate funding, collect data, and achieve OUSD goals.

 

What is your view of charter schools?
Answer from Stacy Begin:

Oceanside is in declining enrollment which is having a negative impact on the district finances. In my professional experience, Charter schools offer education ranging in grades K-12 without charge to students like a public school. Like our public schools, Charter schools are funded with tax dollars, but are generally subject to fewer rules and regulations than traditional public schools. Charter schools also can be selective about which students they enroll, and their teachers are generally not part of a union. Teachers at charter schools are unable to speak up and advocate for student without fear of reprisals and possibility of losing their job. In my work at California Teachers Association, I work with 4 unionized charter schools that do not fit into this mold, the teachers have a voice and these schools are making gains in student performance.  

Should the district curb its school choice initiatives (for students who are not in charter schools), so that more students stay in their neighborhood schools? Why or why not?
Answer from Stacy Begin:

Our District is in declining enrollment and losing students to other neighboring school districts or charter schools. I am not against school of choice options for parents to find the program that is the best fit for their child. I have my son attending a school located on the other side of the school district, not at our neighborhood school because this is the only school in Oceanside Unified that has the Dual Language Immersion Program. I believe that Oceanside Unified can do better at communicating with families about the different programs at each school site. Also the District needs to ensure that all Oceanside school sites are equitable in appearance, programs and safety.  

Are there school discipline strategies or behavioral support programs that you find appealing alternatives to exclusionary or punitive discipline? If so, which ones, and why?
Answer from Stacy Begin:

My background in education and experience on the Oceanside Unified Local Control Accountability Planning Committee leads me to believe that we can do a better job in our school district addressing students social emotional learning needs. Social Emotional Learning is the process through which students acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, show empathy, establish and maintain positive relationships and make responsible decisions. Social Emotional Learning can be embedded in the strategic plans, staffing, professional learning, and budgets. It should be guiding our curriculum choices and classroom instruction in Oceanside Unified. 

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Oceanside is struggling with finances and with recent contract negotiations with the teachers has alienated parents and staff. It is time to rebuild our relationships and focus on student success. I strongly believe in an accountability driven district that makes informed decisions about educational programs, staffing and resources.  I will work with trustees to set clear priorities, sensibly allocate funding, collect data, and achieve OUSD goals.

I am an advocate for public education. Our public schools are the heart of the communities they serve and do so much more than just teach our children. Our Oceanside schools host continuing education courses for adults, extracurricular activities, sporting events, academic clubs and invite the community for local events.

I also support the addressing of climate change through education and policy in schools. There is a need for comprehensive climate literacy policy in OUSD and school districts throughout this country. As a school board member, I can work collaboratively with management, other board members, labor, and parents to look at implementing a district policy and access to curriculum that supports climate justice.

From school board member and educator perspective, I believe it is important that the School District understands how today’s immigration policies impact learning and achievement to properly in order to respond to them. I am against the current immigration crackdowns and the repeal of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) which are undoing decades of progress. As a schoolboard member I would work with other board members, district administration, teachers and families to make Oceanside schools a place where students feel safe and can focus on learning, not deportation. We need to ensure our Oceanside schools are welcoming for immigrant families by enforcing current immigration law, advocate for funding, and support to educators, school leaders, and counselors in schools.

 

 

 

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