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

Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School District Governing Board

Steve Chen

As a parent with 3 grown children, I am a practiced believer that our children are our future. That's why I became a math teacher at LGHS after working 30 years in tech; I wanted to make a positive contribution to the success of our children in our community. I hope to continue to make an impact as a member of the LG-Saratoga High School board.

  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. School funding is a continuous challenge. I will identify and secure funding sources to increase our investment in our teachers and classrooms.
    2. Increased student stress has become a major issue especially after COVID. I will ensure that our children have access to the right resources so they can all achieve a better academic- mental health balance.
    3. Putting together a plan for anticipated declines in student enrollment. I want to ensure that our schools continue to have the best teachers and course offerrings.

  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?

    We are fortunate that Los Gatos and Saratoga High Schools both offer a broad and diverse list of after school activities and cirricula to keep our young adults engaged and chaperoned for families with working parent(s). I will work to maintain/increase funding and staffing for these programs.

  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?

    The district provides free meal and educational services for disadvantaged families. They also have a terrific program (NOVA) for keeping at risk students in school. I know this because I taught math to NOVA students for several years as well as provided after school tutoring for a bright young man who unfortunately had a challenging home life. So I'm a believer that these programs make a positive difference and will ensure that the district continues to provide these services for disadvantaged students.

  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?

    As an educator, I integrated into my classroom instruction accommodations for my students with special needs and learning disabilities. The district high schools have done a commendable job in adding special ed staff and case managers to document each student's individual needs as well as provide periodic progress reports and feedback to teachers, students and parents. As a board member I will ensure that the process is adhered to by all staff members as well as periodically evaluate the efficacy of the process.

  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?

    I totally agree as I witnessed firsthand the increase in my students' "stress" levels while teaching through COVID. The district has already identified mental health as a top priority challenge. As a board member, I will continue to prioritize access to these services. At the same, we need to be evaluating the effectiveness of these services by establishing metrics which we can track. The goal being to invest in programs that work while reducing/eliminating those that don't.