Santa Clara County Voter's Guide On Children's Issues

Campbell Union High School District Governing Board, Trustee Area #2

Elisabeth Halliday

All students are exceptional. They should be celebrated for their individual gifts and have their interests nurtured. They should have access to thought-provoking books that spark their interests and imaginations. Experienced teachers know how best to teach our kids and should be given the respect, dignity, and tools to do their jobs.

  1. In a recent poll by Choose Children 2022 of likely general election voters, more than half of parents with children under age 18 say they are likely to move out of the Bay Area in the next few years. What do you think are the top three issues affecting our children and families and how will you make our region a place where all families can thrive?

    1) The cost of living is too high. We need affordable housing and childcare. Schools do more than teach our kids. They provide community resources, such as adult schools, food pantries and provide meals, and child care. We need to find ways to support these crucial services.
    2) Celebrate Diversity! The Bay Area is unique in its "melting pot" nature of diversity. We have people of all cultures and from all walks of life. We should embrace this as a strength and protect the marginalized.
    3) Safety should be a constant effort. Addressing mental health needs without stigma will go a long way toward improving our communities.

  2. As we have learned over the past three years, without quality, affordable, childcare, parents can’t go to work. What will you do to address challenges accessing childcare and preschool programs in our diverse communities?

    Financial support and subsidies from all levels of government should help ensure safe and affordable quality childcare. Childcare expenses often exceed a parent's wages. I would love to see incentives for employers to provide safe, quality child care. Further, I would like to see "public education" expanded to include preschool.

  3. Much of the student achievement gap has been linked to the opportunity gap that children in low-income families and children of color confront (e.g., lack of access to healthy food, preschool, tutors, and enrichment activities). If elected, what will you do to increase equity of opportunity?

    We need to address implicit biases that result in students feeling "unworthy" of these opportunities. ALL students are worthy. We need to build our students up so that they are confident and assertive in accessing honors and AP classes. We should look into ways we can provide "bridge" classes and other supports to help students gain the skills they need to access the higher learning opportunities.

  4. What steps will you take to support inclusion and outcomes for children with special needs or with disabilities and their families to be fully included in our community?

    I like the "Twice Exceptional" concept of recognizing the strengths, gifts, and interests of students who are otherwise stigmatized by a diagnosis and "deficits." In educational plans, the Least Restrictive Environment should remain a focus. Special needs students should have as much inclusivity as possible and desired, which also helps other students to learn that these kids are worthy of respect, equal treatment, and friendship.

  5. There is a mental health crisis among children, youth, and those who care for and educate them. If elected, how will you use the resources of your new role to improve access to mental and behavioral health services?

    There is a great need for social supports in our schools and in our health care facilities. We should consider having full time social workers and therapists on campus as integral to staffing needs. They help students avert crises, and are there to advocate for those who need extra support.