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Carolee Focht: Emphasizing 'the three Rs'

October 31, 2002

RACE FOR OCEAN VIEW SCHOOL DISTRICT

Name: Carolee Focht

Age: None given

Occupation: Middle school teacher

Family: Married to George, with five grown children and three

grandchildren.

Community activities: Board member, Huntington Beach Education

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Foundation; active member, American Assn. of University Women; member

and presenter for Computer-Using Educators; Alumni Assn. Cal State

San Marcos; Wesleyan Methodist Church.

Education: Master's in education, technology and learning;

bachelor's in liberal studies.

Favorite leader: John Dewey.

Contact information: (714) 846-3086; Web site:

www.caroleefocht.com; e-mail: mrsfocht@netscape.net.

FOCHT ON:

* STUDENT SAFETY:

I would hold administrators, principals, teachers and all staff

accountable for following child abuse reporting procedures as defined

by the state of California. Additionally, I would lead a forum that

includes community input to put in place a kindergarten through

eighth-grade student education program that will teach children,

parents and teachers how to recognize, avoid and report abusive

situations.

Another safety issue can be remedied by realigning budget

priorities to immediately begin modernization and replacement of

aging portable classrooms. To accomplish the broad scope of

modernization on the large scale that is needed I would guide the

district in an aggressive grant-writing program to obtain funds to

update all school buildings.

* RAISING STUDENT TEST SCORES:

Continuing emphasis on the basics -- the three Rs -- is important

while integrating computer technology into every classroom,

kindergarten through eighth grade. This approach will give students

the tools to succeed in the 2lst century. Additionally, the district

needs to retain and reward the outstanding teachers and staff that it

has, and realign budget priorities to offer all district personnel

health insurance without raising taxes. These goals are similar to

those of the Ocean View Teachers Assn., who have endorsed me, Sharon

Holland and Carol Kanode.

* FISCAL IMPROVEMENTS TO THE DISTRICT:

An aggressive grant-writing campaign can make up for the large

budget shortfalls that the district may see over the next few years.

The district has encumbered itself with a $14-million debt that must

be paid off at $797,000 per annum. It has missed out on the

opportunity to gain $21 million in Proposition 1A funds for

modernization. Every grant opportunity must be aggressively pursued

so that taxpayers do not pay twice for their school improvements or

programs.

* BIGGEST ISSUE FACING THE DISTRICT:

The biggest issue facing the district is the $797,000 per year

loan payment to pay for new construction during this time of budget

cutbacks by the state. The district needs strong guidance for an

aggressive grant writing program to make up for budget cutbacks;

immediate and desperately needed modernization of classrooms; and

computer technology upgrades in every classroom. It is imperative

that administration be held accountable for efficient money

management, a balanced budget and maximized lease income from unused

school sites.

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