What ideas do you have to better the lives of Oklahoma’s children?
I have a real education plan with specific steps to improve the lives of children and increase their likelihood of success. Two parts of this plan are: relieving school counselors of their testing paperwork so they can devote time to the emotional needs of children. I would also push for high quality early intervention programs for young children as well as high quality vocational training programs for high school students not interested in attending college.
What have you done to support children prior to this election?
I have spent my entire adult life educating and advocating for children. Specifically, I have always been disturbed by the evidence suggesting that children in poverty and children of color are often taught using less effective methods. I have championed best instructional practices in the Title 1 schools at which I have worked. I have written grants, led professional development for teachers and instituted afterschool programs to help lead my schools toward best practices for children.
What will you do to support families in your new role, if elected?
I believe poverty is the single largest factor in creating instability in the lives of children. I would fight to restore the Earned Income Tax Credit. By improving the education programs and school counseling programs, I hope to reduce the incarceration rate. I am deeply disturbed by the median age of incarceration. I feel this is yet another indication that we are failing our children. I would fight for minimum security facilities that offer addiction and mental health counseling as well as vocational training for drug offenders.