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November 6, 2018 — California General Election

National School DistrictCandidate for Board Member

Photo of Maria Dalla

Maria Dalla

Governing Board Member, National School District
4,552 votes (35.9%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Create and sustain conditions that support excellent student achievement
  • Provide community leadership as an advocate for children
  • Ensure accountability



Profession:Retired School District Employee
Governing Board Member, National School District — Elected position (2014–2018)
Human Resources Administrative Assistant-Office Manager, National School District (1989–2014)


California School Boards Association Masters in Governance, School Board Governance (2015)
Southwestern College Associate of Arts Degree (2003)

Community Activities

Member, National Association of Latino Elected Officials (2014–current)
Member, P.E.O. (2003–current)
Extraordinary Minister, Saint Mary's Catholic Church (1995–current)
Member, Whiffers Ladies Golf (2014–current)
Member, National City Chamber of Commerce (2014–current)

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • California School Employees Association

Questions & Answers

Questions from The League of Women Voters 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 Maria Dalla:

In my opinion, probably the most pressing problem is the high percentage of children living in poverty. Having worked in the National School District for 25 years and completing my fourth year on the school board, I have seen first-hand the needs of our students. Some lack basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter.  Many of our parents work multiple jobs or don't have paperwork to legally work in this country.  As a resident of National City and a fluent Spanish speaker, I encourage parents to reach out to me. I am a strong supporter of our Family Resource Center and participate in their annual retreats.  As a Board member, I actively participate in our Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) input process and encourage parents to do the same. I support our local service organizations and volunteer for events that provide school uniforms, holiday gifts, and prescription glasses to our students. I grew up in the South Bay and I feel fortunate to be able to give back to my community.

What is your view of charter schools?
Answer from Maria Dalla:

Our district is supportive of charter schools and the innovative programs and services they offer to students and families.  In fact, the District has a well-functioning charter school by the name of Integrity Charter, which has been successfully operating under the District's authorization for the past 13 years. We care deeply about the well-being of all children and feel a duty to ensure that students receive a quality education. I strongly believe that the Distict should hold charter schools to the same expectation that we hold our District schools.  Oversight is critical. If a charter school is not providing a satisfactory education for students, I do not believe that it should continue to operate.

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 Maria Dalla:

I have mixed feelings on this because I believe that our families should feel very confident about the quality of education throughout our District and want to attend their neighborhood school. If this were the case, there would be no need for choice initiatives. Charter schools and talk of vouchers have challenged this perspective. If we do not "brand" our neighborhood schools, we run the risk of losing student enrollment to charter or private schools. By offering choice, we allow parents the ability to choose which school best fits their child's needs and personality. We currently allow choice in our District, however it isn't something we have promoted. In addition, in our community, transportation can be problematic for many of our families.

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 Maria Dalla:

Positive Behaviors and Intervention Supports (PBIS) has really taken off in our District. Teachers are now using proactive approaches and restorative practices in their classrooms to address behavior. As a result, our suspension rates are dropping. This year we were thrilled to learn that all ten of our schools were recognized by the California PBIS Coalition for our Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports efforts. This recognition reflects our efforts in implementing the core features of PBIS and the positive effect that it has had on our students.

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