I never thought I would be a “politician”. I have been a constant voter and have assisted other candidates, I just thought other people would run. However, I am running for School Board because I can contribute a skill set and perspective that is not currently represented on the Board. I was a child welfare state social worker; a special education teacher at Schools for the Deaf and Blind; I have fifteen years of experience working in financial management and as a forensic accountant; a licensed private investigator; a certified fraud examiner; a CEO; and of most importance I am a mother to six children and have been a foster parent. Despite the other hats I have worn, I am a mother at my core and I will fight for the best for all of our children while ignoring the shifting political winds.
Many people moved into Issaquah School District because of the accolades of the great school district; I was one of those people nine years ago. Five of my children have attended Issaquah School District School. As the years passed I became more concerned about the decisions made by the school board. Parent concerns were not being listened to and resolved adequately causing large amounts of money to be spent on lawsuits; some schools and some classrooms had better equipment and better-trained teachers; Schools that used a “lottery” system are difficult to get into; Over a half of a billion dollars in levies and bonds have been asked for at alarming rates; tear down of buildings have happened where remodels should have been studied; and the eye-opening final straw that broke the camel’s back for me was the failure of the Issaquah School Board was when they denied services to my profoundly dyslexic child and they filed an administrative hearing before a judge to rule that they didn't have to to provide services for my dyslexic child. I have been fighting the school district for services for dyslexic children for the last four years. The saddest thing to me is the families who have had to move out of the district in order to receive dyslexia services for their children, home-school, or send their children to private school on their own dime. I have learned a lot about Issaquah School District from administrators who testified and have learned first hand numerous ways to make our district serve every child.
Being a member of the school board should be taken seriously and treated with the same respect that the children deserve. Every child is entitled to an education that fits the individual, and it is my mission to improve the quality of that education for every student in our district within the budget. These decisions, such as setting the budget, hold significant weight. The board has a responsibility to find creative ways to expand services and improve education while keeping school expenditures as low as possible for our community — one which is already taxed at a rate that is among the highest taxed in the state. I personally have a deep passion for our public schools. I understand the impact of the board, not only as a homeowner but as a parent.
This election will see two new board members who will hire the next superintendent. The board owes it to the community to get this decision right. For a decision this integral, I would push for all residents to have input into the superintendent candidate evaluation criteria. All voices should all be heard as we search for someone who will lead our district in a new and exciting direction.
My life was shaped and improved by the teachers I had, students I interacted with, and quality of programs that were available to me in school.
You can follow me on Facebook (VoteLayna) or email me at LC@voteLayna.com or with any questions or concerns. I’d love to hear from you.