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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
School

Berkeley Unified School DistrictCandidate for School Director

Photo of Beatriz Leyva-Cutler

Beatriz Leyva-Cutler

Incumbent
30,116 votes (38.61%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Amplifying a district-wide positive message and expectation of equity and excellence for ALL of our students
  • Supporting alternatives to suspensions and expulsions with programs like Restorative Justice, early identification of students who are struggling academically and socially; and providing appropriate and culturally responsive intervention.
  • Continuing to support professional learning communities for our teachers; and training and career pathways for our classified staff.

Experience

Experience

Profession:By profession, I am an educator and administrator in early to school age care and education with 36+ years experience.
Executive Director, Bay Area Hispano Institute for Advancement, Inc. (BAHIA) (1980–current)
School Board Director, Berkeley Unified School District — Elected position (2008–current)
CA School Board Association Appointee Committee Member, Transitional Kindergarten Steering Committee — Appointed position (2016–current)
Alameda County Delegate, School Board Delegate — Elected position (2015–current)

Education

Pacific Oaks College Master's in Leadership in Education , Bilingual Edcuation, Equity, Leadership, Early to School Age Care and Education, Administration (2000)
San Francisco State University BA in La Raza Studies, Study of Latino education, culture, history and politics (1979)

Community Activities

Co-Chair, Chicana Latina Foundation (2000–current)
Advisory Board Member, Somos Familia (2010–current)

Biography

As a lifelong bilingual educator and two term School Board Director I have demonstrated a sincere commitment to academic excellence based upon equitable opportunities for all of our students. In my almost eight years as School Board Director I have consistently voted to support professional development; focus on attendance and chronic absence of our students by engaging all partners to reach out to students and families in a restorative not punitive fashion; and work to continue a stronger focus on strengthening and welcoming parent engagement in our schools; and ensure that our schools are serving supporting the learning of English Language Learners through a Master Plan that outlines our specific programs and practices and how district-wide they should be implemented. We have made important gains in addressing the acheivement gap with African American and Latino students graduating from high school in higher percentages than the statewide overall average for all ethnicities-and have continued to increase the number of students taking advance level classes and being eligible for four year colleges. If re-elected I will continue to be committed to ensuring that all students have equal opportunity to acheive their full potential in our schools.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Alameda Labor Council
  • Berkeley Democratic Club
  • Berkeley Federation of Teachers+

Organizations (1)

  • John George Democratic Club

Elected Officials (2)

  • Berkeley City Councilmembers (ALL)
  • Berkeley School Board (ALL)

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California Education Fund (1)

A recent law made major changes in the way that the state allocates funding to schools.  What will you do to ensure that the public understands your local control formula for school spending and your plan to measure outcomes?
Answer from Beatriz Leyva-Cutler:

.

BAHIA's programs have a Parent Advisory Board (PAC) that makes recommendations, questions and provides feedback to the Local Control Formula; they are parents and community members that are trained and provided resources to questions and being able to answer how we know what we know? In our programs at BAHIA, we provide the training, consultation with staff about qualificaiton and experience.

The board, staff and the school board work collaborative with the Superintendent to ensure our LCAP for school spending and that BUSD is meeting our measured outcomes, by survey re determine parent satisfaction from our parents and staff, going to where parents and community exist; and ask them what they think, and ensuring our Chief Finance Director, Javetta Cleaveland knows the nuances of an old house rebuilt.   

 

Questions from League of Women Voters—Berkeley, Albany, Emeryville (2)

If you are elected, what would you like to achieve during your term in office?
Answer from Beatriz Leyva-Cutler:

 

If elected I would like to achieve that our Berkeley Unified School District would have 100% measurable gains in student’s graduated college and career ready, our policies and practices would be aligned to equity and excellence. Our taxpayers would have approved measure E1 to continue supporting class size reduction, libraries, technology in our schools, visual arts and arts in the classroom, counselors, professional development for our teachers and parent engagement. If elected, I will keep the lens of equity, excellence and children excited about learning every day at the forefront of my role and responsibility as a school board director.

 

What would you do to address challenges such as the following? funding and registration; teacher retention and compensation safety; bullying and sexual harassment college and vocational readiness; creating pathways for those who are not college bound
Answer from Beatriz Leyva-Cutler:

 

Implementing with fidelity the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) Evaluating on a rubric the LCAP for its effectiveness and its implementation with fidelity along with the Common Core in Math and English Language Arts.

 

Work with staff to ensure students are on track at the 9th, 10th and 11th grade for college and/or career.

 

Work hard between now and November 8th to ensure voters pass measure E1 for our schools. Failure to pass will result in devastating cuts, reductions of programs and the progress we have made in several of our schools.

 

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

 

I am fortunate because in my career I have seen and learned what children need from zero to young adulthood. First and foremost children need to be raised in healthy environments with caregiving/parents/adults and community that provide children with safety, love, their identity and a trust; and an unconditional love that has limits, yet teaches children to safe, healthy and compassionate. The early years are very important and being present as a parent/caregiver, talking/reading and engaging children every day is as important as them feeling responsible and part of a family and a community, giving children simple to complex responsibilities in the home from how they welcome and engage with family, friends and neighbors to how they take care and look out for siblings, cousins and friends and their community. If you provide children with this safe loving and caring family learning happens for children. When children do not have this in their lives early on - they will be constantly searching for safety, be protective of themselves and what few family, friends and things they have. These children will need adults in their lives to really see them, and be constant in their lives to regain the early trust they did not receive. Many children grow up without shelter/food, but have received this strong love and nurturance from their parents and they have managed to survive and succeed. Children who have shelter/food and no love and nurturance in their home - will have challenges emotionally and socially. It is incumbent on adults to be constantly mindful and educated (based on life experience and/or formal education) on what foundation children need to grow to be healthy global citizens that we will need in the future, in our society and in our communities. We are all responsible for children learning to be healthy adults, that's why public education matters.

 

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