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WCSD Administration building, (Photo: KUNR)

Opinion: Why Am I Running For School Board

Better schools will require transparency, first-hand education experience, and moral courage 

By Paul White, April 8, 2024 2:33 pm

There are a handful of reasons why I’m running for the Washoe County School Board (WCSD).

I’m running because the WCSD School Board’s lack of transparency in their meetings is hiding our schools’ failures from the public.

School Board meetings are held at times when most working parents cannot attend and in venues that barely hold 20 people, when the District has approximately 100,000 parents and large school auditoriums are available. Public comment has been moved to the end of Board meeting agendas to further restrict public input.

I’m running because with chronic absenteeism running as high as almost 70% at some schools – making quality teaching impossible – the Board refuses to enforce strict NRS law that would stop this problem almost immediately.

I’m running because while claiming to aspire to a “drug free workplace,” the Board refuses to acknowledge or address the epidemic-level drug use on our campuses. Countless teachers, support staff, parents, and students have confirmed this with Education Crusade, but they are afraid to speak  publicly for fear of reprisal from unconstitutional District policies that threaten their employment. The District has no comprehensive drug-prevention program, and has refused offers to hear a presentation on the unique West Valley Voluntary Drug-testing Program that builds moral values and gets entire schools drug free.

Candidate for Washoe County School Board District G, At-Large. (Photo provided by Paul White)

I’m running because the Board refuses to acknowledge the increasing incidents of assaults and abuse of teachers and students that have been repeatedly reported in local media and viral videos. Large-scale campus riots have hospitalized students, Code Red and Yellow lockdowns are regularly reported, and a number of lawsuits are making their way through the legal system, filed by both students’ families and staff who have been victimized by this violence.

I’m running because the result of all these issues is academically dysfunctional campus environments. Not surprisingly, WCSD students have continued to achieve at a rate where 60-to-80% are years below grade level and functionally illiterate, which WCSD euphemistically identifies with education jargon as “below proficient.”

I’m running because for over the past decade, no one can remember a single board member EVER making even ONE unescorted, unannounced school visitation to normal classes. This is the ONLY way the public can learn how chaotic, dangerous, and incompetently managed our schools have become.

School visits that are announced and escorted are a complete waste of time and hide the truth. A misleading and orchestrated farce, they are the primary weapon superintendents use to deceive the public and fight-off criticism about the true state of their schools. If elected, I would work to require every Board member to make unannounced and unescorted visits each month, and publicly report their findings at Board meetings.

Most of all, I’m running for school board because they need at least one member who actually knows what they’re talking about when it comes to fixing failing schools.

I have 38 years of nationally-recognized school experience, at all grade levels, as a teacher, principal, and charter school superintendent. Our current Board – combined – has zero experience.

I’ve transformed over a dozen schools in seven districts, turning failing schools into great schools. My students’ daily attendance exceeded 90%. My schools were virtually free from drugs, gangs, and violence. They were respectful, had strong moral values, and set historical records for academic achievement.

I have the education experience and moral courage to deliver the same kind of results to Washoe County schools.

But first, I have to get elected … and that’s up to you.


Editors Note: The Globe invites all candidates in the upcoming 2024  election to submit an opinion editorial.

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