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Orange County, CA November 5, 2002 Election
Smart Voter

Orange County Register Interview

By Paul J. Ruiz

Candidate for Board Member; Brea Olinda Unified School District

This information is provided by the candidate
These were brief questions about my interest in the school board.
1. Why should people vote for you?
I often ask myself this same question. I believe that each one of us is destined to make a difference in our lives. Whether that be as a policeman, fireman, teacher or garbage man, we all have that desire. Mine is to make sure that the needs of our children are met. Met in the sense that no matter what their learning ability, the district (actually the teachers), will respond with a course of action that will aid that child. All children are unique and different, and with these differences comes challenges. The district must be able to adapt and think of new and innovative ideas to meet these challenges. My entire focus is the children, and I look forward to the challenges they will present. I also believe that parents are among the best teachers available. By encouraging parental involvement, via e-mail, telephone, letter or take home notices, I believe our children would excel beyond anyone's expectations. I believe that board members must be accessible to the parents they serve, and that parental suggestions should be taken into account when making decisions.

2. What is your solution to overcrowding? Aside from locating properties for new schools, we need to look at more creative solutions such as expanding current school buildings to multiple levels. This type construction is less expensive, and requires less building time than developing an entire piece of land. Since most of our schools have portables on site, these additions would just take their place and be a safe, permanent fixture at the school.

3. What do you feel the school board can do to better serve the students? With the upcoming shortfall in funds due to the States budget crisis, it is essential that the board explore other avenues of obtaining much needed revenue. Much of the districts moneys sit in low interest accounts because they are safe. But the fact is, there are higher yielding investments available that are just as safe. The board needs to be open to new ideas and strategies that would be financially beneficial. Also, now more than ever, board members need to go out into the business community and ask for their help. Financial donations as well as product donations would lessen the burden on the district allowing for better incentives, to help recruit and retain the best teachers.

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