The Lewisville Texan Journal sent a list of questions to Lewisville ISD school board candidates to familiarize voters with each potential trustee. Each candidate had two weeks to return their answers. Answers from candidates who participated are published as sent, unedited.
Early voting for the May election begins April 24 and continues until May 2. Election day is May 6. Voters will decide who will be the city council members, who will serve on the school board of trustees, and whether or not to accept a bond package proposal from LISD.
Here are the responses sent to us from Eric Parker, who is running for Place 6.
LTJ: How much of your time on average per week are you committed to giving voters for this position?
EP: 25 hours a week +
LTJ: How have you served the school district prior to filing?
EP: I have volunteered at Hebron high school and got student involved in the ceramics; the art of clay. My campaign has been dedicated using the local spot light to address important matters during a bond election, that otherwise might have been ignored.
LTJ: How do you plan to interface with the public if you are elected? To what extent would you let public input affect your decisions as a board member?
EP: The public votes you in because they agree with your message and campaign. Keep your promises what you want to fix and address. Our cities have gotten too big; the board should go back to representing zones rather than At-large. Now we can have easier communication for each citizen by address his or her board member viva email, Phone,
Letter, Public forums , Social media and Media.
LTJ: What do you want to do as a board member that you could not do as a dedicated resident?
EP: We need to lead by example on our local level first before fixing the world.
There too much attention on the state level and not enough on us. I would bring dual credit problem to representative attention. Dual credit system has too much regulations preventing student from tackling college core classes needed to save money in college tuition.
LTJ: Do you think the district is doing enough to provide transparency in decision-making and accountability to the public? What would you change, if anything?
EP: Transparency does not mean who’s right and who’s wrong, it means to give as much detailed information as possible so you can vote on good conscious. I would change having a bond election during a board election. It distracts from curriculum and performance index. Rather than talking about improving grades and standardize testing we are arguing about taxes.
LTJ: What is the most pressing issue facing the district? What steps would you take to amend said issue?
EP: Harassment and bullying is a very pressing issue at lisd. I would adopt S.T.O.P (Support, Timing, Openness and Parents) as lisd policy. Form a local committee .Debate on how we should hold lisd accountable. Decide the amount of money should be spent on PSA. What other resources the district needs then put it up for a Vote.
You can learn more about stop at Parker4lisd.com & Facebook/Parker4lisd
LTJ: If you could point to any particular policy, project or direction in the district’s past history that you could go back in time and undo, what would it be?
EP: I would undo strategic design replace it with (L.E.A.R.N) The design was made policy during the superintended Dr. Stephen Waddell. He has left the district so why keep his policy?
There too much uncertainty about technology cost, insurance, fixes updates and rebuilding and possible new bond. Strategic design was used as a deciding factor for Hedrick decision and forming the current bond. It has cause confusion about the I&S and M&O tax rates. Strategic design has split us apart as a community.
LTJ: The current board has accepted a decision to not rebuild Hedrick Elementary and approved sending that decision to the voters in the bond election. Yet LISD has said it will not tell voters where those students will go until later. Do you think this provides an adequate level of transparency, and do you think, as a board member, you would be willing to reexamine those plans?
EP: You cannot as a board member delegate a grade as being more important than others especially a school. I would have taken Hedrick out of the bond. It’s too controversial and tax payers that kids do not affect the school are deciding that local community’s fate and vice versa with other schools and their bond fate. Hedrick needs to be yanked out, re-examined as its own project and dealt with separately and independently.
LTJ: The voters are poised to grant this district three quarters of a billion in bond money for construction projects and tech purchases in the district. How do you as a board member ensure accountability for staying true to the district’s needs and maintaining good stewardship of that money?
EP: I would ask for a simplified text of the accounting so it’s easier for people to understand. Not everyone is a Accountant. It took me over 96 hours to research to the un-audited version for the LISD 2016 finical statements and it was abit hard to find. With simplified text, I would have a compare and contrast from previous years in a public forum or website.
Similar concept, I would supply data as good stewardship. To ensure tax money showed results from the campaign message.
LTJ: A recent court case has shone a light on LISD’s duties to protect students against sexual assault, harassment, bullying and retaliation. Though LISD was not found liable for retaliation, that case has shaken the faith of many in LISD’s ability to take allegations seriously and protect student victims of crime from their assailants. As a board member, what would you do to ensure that staff react appropriately? How would you assure parents that their children are safe in Lewisville ISD?
EP: Our schools are funded by M&O rates (maintenance and operations) which is partial of your school district tax rates. Our currently is 1.04 which has been frozen for 9 years. As local level commercial increase with population~ LISD will gain more revenue in the general funds. We should use that extra revenue to update training. With training updated and a committee forming S.T.O.P; together, they can create a good local program to stop this issue and create a safe environment.