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

Campbell Union School District Governing Board, Trustee Area #1

Richard Nguyen

Providing students with a high quality 21st century education that helps them reach their full potential is my mission. Students are at the heart of my decision-making and advocacy on the school board. Solution-driven, I know we accomplish more when we work together. Proud of our recent accomplishments, I also believe in continual improvement.

  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?

    The high cost of living is the biggest challenge facing many families, which includes housing and the cost of raising a child. Some of the work I’ve done as a school board member to address these issues:
    • Advocate for affordable housing on Campbell City Council’s Education Subcommittee.
    • Changed school board policies to help fund free school meals, and expanded our free summer lunch sites.
    • Closed the digital divide by providing laptops and internet access to families that do not have access.
    • Successfully advocated for the reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

  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?

    As a school board member, I have made it a priority to reduce financial barriers for childcare, preschool programs, and summer enrichment programs. These programs are key to closing the achievement gap. As a result, our school district has found grants and other funding mechanisms to offer free or reduced prices to more families. We will continue to find innovative ways make these vital programs even more accessible.

  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?

    I strongly believe in equity. In addition to the accomplishments listed in Questions 2 & 3, I also created the Board Committee on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. This resulted in honest conversations and solutions on how our schools can overcome racism and bias so our students can thrive.

    I support our award-winning Family Engagement Institute, which provides resources and knowledge to traditionally underserved families.

    As the first Asian American to serve on the school board, I have visited multiple classrooms to discuss AAPI Heritage Month. My talks encourage students to discover, embrace, and celebrate all diversities.

  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?

    Regularly making school visits, I see our special education teachers and staffers provide so much care and attention to their students. Our district is also intentional about finding opportunities to mainstream students in special education. For instance, I love seeing our students with special needs participate in the middle school orchestra, where they are embraced and celebrated by their schoolmates. It is one of the most heartwarming sights. Our schools are truly instilling the values of inclusion and empathy, and I fully support such efforts.

  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?

    As school board president, I successfully secured federal funding that increases mental health services for our students. Furthermore, I have requested state funding for sensory rooms, therapeutic spaces that help students with autism and/or other behavior health challenges and refocus themselves before returning to the classroom.

    On the Campbell City Council's Education Subcommittee, I successfully advocated for the City to offer free parenting seminars with trained professionals to help them address mental health issues and support their children’s success. I will continue to find ways to improve mental health resources for our students and families.