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Q&A with Jim Reed, candidate for Paso Robles School Board 

Jim Reed paso robles

Jim Reed

Questions and answers with Jim Reed

Editor’s note: The Paso Robles Daily News invited all candidates running for the board of trustees of the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District to participate in a Q&A to help inform local voters. We will be running them this week as we receive them.

Why are you running for trustee?

I am a concerned taxpayer. I have concerns about how our tax dollars are being spent by our school board. Currently 61 % of our property taxes go to the schools and that is only half of the money that goes to the schools. The other half is from other tax dollars that we pay to the state.

This year we will getting back from the state around 80 million dollars of our tax money for our schools.

Too many times over the last several years we have heard that the school budget has been mis-spent, for example, needless cost overruns for improvements and questionable hiring of expensive administrative employees. These are funds that would be better spent on educating our students.

What is the school district is currently doing well, and what would you like to see improve?

I personally like great work coming from the skills USA program. Industry is having a hard time finding skilled workers for high paying jobs.

The dual immersion program seems to be popular with citizens that have kids in our schools.
I support the effort of the board trying to expand the program into more grades.

One of the most important improvements for me would be to keep the teacher’s political preferences out of the classrooms.
I think it is imperative we get back to teaching our students HOW to think, not WHAT to think.

Students should be taught the curriculum and figure out what they think about a subject instead of teachers telling them what to think.

What is your position on re-opening classrooms and protecting students from COVID-19?

The public only seems to hear what the school’s administration wants us to hear. I haven’t really heard much from what the citizens want with respect to the children attending schools.
From the little I have heard, people with children in schools want the kids back in school and most of the teachers want to be back in schools as well.

I know there are some teachers that don’t want to be in the classroom. It seems to me the teachers that don’t want to be in class can have their class over the internet like they have been doing already.

The teachers and children that want to be in school should be able to do that. There are plenty of protection measures to follow to keep them safe.

I have been asked how we will pay for it. I believe a budget of $80 million per year is enough money to pay to educate our children.

How can the school district better serve students and meet its budget responsibilities?

It seems to me this question answers itself.

The school district could better serve the students by meeting its budget responsibilities.

All too often the rhetoric of past boards, such as, making sure the schools reserves are maintained fall to the wayside, while we continue watch money being spent on over-runs on improvement projects, on pools that aren’t going to be used while paying off employees when they are asked to leave, just to name a few.

These funds would be much better spent on expanding dual immersion classes, skills USA and maintaining the athletic programs.

Is there anything else you would like voters to know about your candidacy?

There is a lack of governance on our school board. It is clear to me that many of the problems in the past have been made by a superintendent that lacked supervision from our school board. Either the school board was not paying attention, did not want to micro-manage his decisions and policies or they approved of his actions. None one of these scenarios is valid to me and shows a lack of governance on the part of our school board.

About Jim Reed

Jim Reed has lived in Paso Robles for over 30 years. His son attended the Paso Robles public school system from kindergarten through high school graduation. “He has moved on to be a productive member of society, much of his success in life I attribute to his education and the values he got from the quality of his education and the special place we live,” Reed says. Reed owns and runs a small business town. “I have lived through the good times over the years and have certainly suffered through the bad times either by the normal ups and downs of the economy or by mistakes I made on my own,” he says. “I certainly understand the responsibility of staying within budgets and not spending money you do not have.”

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About the author: News Staff

The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at info@pasoroblesdailynews.com.