Thoms, Michelle (Mindy)
Meet the Candidate
Running For:School Board
District:Flagstaff Unified School District
Occupation:Business Owner, Homemaker
1. Financially Responsible
FUSD is in financial crisis, our district will be paying of a public debt of $80.5 million until 2036. Our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren are in debt before they ever get a high school diploma. The district received 137 million dollars last year and they are still asking for $100 million more this November. As treasurer of a local nonprofit organization and business owner, I custom-designed a financial interface to ensure the bookkeeping inflows and outflows were balanced. This kind of experience is what is needed to help FUSD regain solid footing and transparency in its fiscal obligations and be a careful steward of our hard-earned tax dollars.
2. Back to Basics in Education
It is time to return to the foundations of education: reading, writing, and arithmetic. Test scores in FUSD are abysmal. Even before the school closures of the last two years, our students comprehensive exam results were lagging. By concentrating education on the basics, we will not only help students, but also the teachers who are burdened with classrooms of students who cannot read or write. Additionally, our schools are in desperate need of historically accurate and principled teachings of History and Civics. In keeping with these goals, school board activities and district curriculum must adhere to Arizona state laws. And, to you the parents and guardians, transparency in curriculum is vital, so that you know what your student is learning.
3. Raising Educational Standards
Student academic success is my top priority. To increase student mastery in learning, we must refer to historical data and implement proven educational models. The curriculum should incorporate a balance of technology and successful teaching methods in order to benefit learning styles. College is a choice for many students, and a robust K-12 education will help prepare for that goal. I want to look at expanding our partnerships with local trades to benefit career-focused education if college is not a good fit. FUSD can help graduates begin earning a distinct skill-set and a living wage, which benefits them and their community.
4. Teacher Support and Retention
Our community will be well-served when the FUSD board establishes and maintains open communication with our teachers. Creating a system for teachers to report their experiences for themselves and their students is an important step in fostering a supportive environment. With greater collaboration, we can expect better retention of excellent teachers, nurturing a foundation of respect between the district, the teachers, and the families.
5. Parent Involvement
Parents must be welcomed back into the classroom. The loss of parental involvement in the classroom setting has burdened the teachers with an unsustainable workload, and has undermined the parents ability to better advocate for their child. Putting systems in place so students and parents can feel heard and understood promotes positive change without fear of repercussionall part of a healthy school district. My plan is to reestablish student advisory committees and parent-teacher organizations, so that relationships and connections can be formed and encouraged.
- −Declined to respond
- Declined to respond, Position based on citation
|1. Requiring school officials, including teachers, to inform parents about their child’s social, mental, emotional, or physical health||S*||There should be no secrets held from the parents about their children. Competent teachers share openly about their students; theyre not required to inform parents.|
|2. Allowing parents to opt their children out of activities or lessons they find offensive to their personal, moral, or religious beliefs||S|
|3. Increasing state and local taxes to provide more funding for schools and school facility projects||O*||Our district has $80.5 million in public debt - until 2036. Our grandchildren are in debt! More money is unsustainable. This is not the answer.|
|4. Requiring signed permission from a parent before a student may participate in any sexuality related instruction, activities, or clubs.||S|
|5. Allowing all parents to use tax credits, vouchers, or education savings accounts to enable children to attend any public, charter, private, homeschool, or online academy||S*||The money belongs to the tax payers and is subject to their discretion.|
|6. Requiring full-day kindergarten for all students||O*||The parents have the authority to choose how long of a day is good for their child.|
|7. Mandating sex education classes for 5th-12th grade students||O*||The authority lies with the parents to choose which scientifically provable biological facts should be taught to their children.|
|8. Allocating teacher pay raises based upon merit rather than providing uniform salary schedule increases based upon years of teaching or additional credentialing (e.g. masters degrees)||O*||Merit is undefined here. Teachers should be paid according to their entire teaching history and experience no matter where they move to.|
|9. Implementing policies to allow students and faculty to use the restroom, locker room, and shower room that aligns with their gender identity||O*||Parents have the authority to teach their own children about their identity. We want personal boundaries enforced and protected.|
|10. Teaching what is known as diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI); social, emotional learning (SEL); or critical race theory (CRT) in public schools.||O|
|11. Increasing academic (curriculum) transparency by requiring each public school to post online for parents and the public a list of all instructional materials being used in the classroom.||S*||Parents will stand by excellent teachers who teach their curriculum and welcome this partnership. Competent teachers are more than willing to be transparent.|