This is not just another Beaverton School District election. In the last four years, there has been a feeling that the quality of education in our school is declining.

Budgets have been cut, over 250 educators have been terminated, class sizes have gone up, and the infrastructure is decaying and is not able to handle the growth of the student body. The Beaverton School District used to be one of the best at the state level, but not anymore.

This election is not just about education. It is about the future of our workforce. If we want to bring businesses to our city to promote employment and economic growth, then we need to provide the human and social capital and a learning community. Otherwise, business is going to go someplace else, and even important companies such as Nike, Adidas and Intel might decide to move to another city or state.

Our children need to develop 21st century skills, and that requires education, both academically and within the proper socio-emotional context.

I support Huma Pierce because she has demonstrated that she is a person who cares about the community by opening her medical practice for Beaverton students to participate in internships, and she has even hired a few graduates. Many have been inspired by her professional history and have continued into careers in the medical field.

Huma has spent hundreds of hours volunteering in the Beaverton School District and understands the challenges that we are facing. Her service in the armed forces shows that she is goal-oriented, efficient and effective. At the same time, she understands that the improvement of the quality of education must involve both the entire community and particular parents, and so is proposing a comprehensive parent volunteering program through which parents will know what is happening in the classroom.

Huma understands that we are competing globally, so she will push forward with dual-language programs, but also with the development of cultural competencies. To achieve these and other goals, the schools need a budget that will afford educators the ability to promote an education with the values that we honor. All options for funding are on the table.

There is no solution but an approach that is balanced and reasonable. PERS reform is a difficult topic, however Huma, believes that the paramount to any change is fairness, and the funds must allow the return of teachers to the classroom. Further, any solution to the PERS issue needs to be within the boundaries of the Oregon Constitution.  

At the end of the day, the act of educating our children belongs to the entire Beaverton community. Huma Pierce will serve the children well. She has my vote.

Marcos Miranda is a Beaverton resident.

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