Layna Crofts, local business owner, and mother of six, who was sued by ISD and acted prose in a special education lawsuit, runs for ISD District seat #5 with a willingness to address and openly solve ignored problems.
I am running for School Board because as MLK said, "There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right”.
Crofts’ areas of focus are:
Safety. Safety must come before education. Bullying, victim protection, transportation, walking paths to school, infectious diseases, racism, and the opioid crisis must-have new policies in place created with parents, students, teachers, specialists, and administrators to outline specific rules and consequences to help each student progress into adulthood.
Equality. If a service is given to some, it should be offered to all. The magnet schools and programs must stop, and those resources should be incorporated into each school. There should be no need for a ‘lottery’ system; ISD has the financial means, the excellent teachers, and the parent support to enable each child to receive the best education possible in their neighborhood school. ISD should also choose and train teachers on the best curriculum to be used district-wide.
Parent Complaint and Resolution Team. Conflict is inevitable; ISD has handled disputes by throwing attorneys at problems costing substantial amounts of money. Issues such as special education, spending, sexual assaults, bullying, over-crowding, drugs, racism, victim protection, and equality demand new viewpoints and fresh policies to correct problems. A complaint and resolution team should be formed to make sure the children are educated, the parents are heard, and less money is spent on court fees. Education disputes can be expensive, but resolving conflicts don’t have to be.
Stop Bonds and Levies. Although in 2016 our district asked for and was rewarded bonds from the voters totaling over a half of a BILLION dollars, they quietly “repurposed” bond funds, and will be asking for more money for the previously promised schools. It is time we monitor, budget, plan, and stop raising taxes. For more needed money for buildings, we must create “Impact Fees” instead of bonds. With planning, there should be no need for levies.
Special Education. Special education is undervalued in the district. The disparity in special education is unacceptable and must improve. We must create district standards for testing, evaluating, IEP’s, and 504 plans to ensure each special education student is truly progressing.
Teachers. There is a symbiotic relationship between a fantastic education and a happy teacher. We must start thinking creatively for one example: Reward teachers with bonuses and gifts from a foundation set up solely for this purpose; build apartments for the teachers to live in rent-free while teaching in ISD funded by private contributions.
I will face challenging problems with honesty, creativity, kindness, transparency to the community, and researched solutions. I am not entering this campaign to be safe, nor politic, nor popular. I have no fear of ‘ruffling people’s feathers’ as I sweat for reform and needed change. The status quo is not working for so many of our students and, WE CAN DO BETTER.
With great trepidation and excitement, I announce my candidacy to run for ISD School Board Director Seat #5.
I am passionate and eager to help the District. I can contribute a skill set and perspective that is not 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; have been acting prose in court to get dyslexic children taught in ISD; and of most importance I am a mother to six children and have been a foster parent. I value all children and want them to reach their full potential.
I understand if I gain a seat on the Board I will be the lone voice for change among people who have been on the Board for many years -who have mostly run unopposed. I understand they will fight me and want to keep their homeostasis. I will counter this by being respectful, kind, and giving my dissent when necessary while sharing with the public the big decisions made by the Board that impacts us all.
It is my goal to open the community's eyes to the problems in the School District so that changes will happen and never again will a School Board candidate run unopposed.
WE CAN DO BETTER IN ISSAQUAH SCHOOL DISTRICT!
Many people moved into Issaquah School District because of the accolades of the excellent 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 of the school board. Parent concerns were not being listened to and resolved adequately causing massive amounts of money to be spent on lawsuits; several schools and some classrooms had better equipment and better-trained teachers; Schools that used a "lottery" system are challenging 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; expensive school fields were built and not used, 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 sued me so they wouldn't have to serve my child a minimal education. I have been fighting the school district for services for dyslexic children for the last four years. The saddest thing to me is I am not the only one; families have had to move out of the district for SE services, home-school or send their children to private school on their dime. (See affidavits below) This is not okay.
As a District, we can do better!
Under my leadership, significant changes will happen in the Issaquah School District.
My plans for making this happen include:
Equitable Educational Opportunities. No matter where a student attends school, they should be able to access the same set of tools and services to achieve their educational goals.
Complaint and Resolution Team. Conflict is inevitable; Issaquah School District has handled the dispute by throwing attorneys at problems costing substantial amounts of money. Issaquah School District has a considerable number of complaints from parents and an obscene amount spent on attorneys. I want to change how the Issaquah School District has been handling conflicts by addressing existing and potential conflicts before they need formal mediation and legal fees. I want to form a complaint and resolution team to make sure the children are educated, the parents are heard, and less money is spent on court fees. Education disputes can be expensive, but resolving conflicts don't have to be.
Special Education. Create district standards for testing, evaluating, IEP's, and 504 plans to ensure each special education student's educational benefit.
Computers. Supply each child (not just a lucky few) in the district with a computer as other districts around us already do.
Fiscal Accountability. No more bonds and levies. When possible, remodel existing structures instead of building. We must come up with creative new ideas other than creating more taxes.
Racism. Set up a clear and concise racism education plan.
WE CAN DO BETTER!
Read these parent affidavits
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