Vision

Lynda’s vision for moving the city’s school district forward includes:

  • Advocate for restoring state funds to public education and seek out new funding sources, as well as ensure that the district spends wisely and in ways that directly benefit our students.
  • Work to close the opportunity gap, by focusing on ways to level the playing field for all of our students, including improving access to early childhood education, focusing on reading proficiency in the primary grades, and increasing attendance rates.
  • Make sure that we have effective leaders in all of our schools, who work to create a positive learning environment and encourage excellence.
  • Help all students qualify for The Pittsburgh Promise, by setting achievement goals and providing an academic roadmap so students can see that this is within their reach.
  • Grow our enrollment, by offering more quality programming in the arts, science, and technology, including added AP offerings and extracurriculars to attract and retain families to the district.
  • Collaborate with the city and build more partnerships with universities, foundations and organizations to advance student achievement and offer a greater variety of learning opportunities.
  • Work to ensure that all teachers receive the support they need to succeed and that we provide the supports necessary for all of our children to excel.
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4 thoughts on “Vision

    • That’s a great question Evan. I support the re-creation of a fair funding formula (we had one by the end of Rendell’s term and Corbett tossed all of that work out the window). Right now the wealthiest communities get more than their share, and the neediest communities get less. That’s not fair! At the same time, a fair funding formula is not enough. We must insist that the pie be bigger.

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  1. While the idea of adding more extracurricular and AP courses is a good idea to retain and increase enrollment, how would you propose to fund such offering? PPS has constantly been facing budgetary issues. As a 2009 TA alum who also went to elementary and middle school in the district, I witnessed the lack of funding directly via shortage of supplies and cuts to extracurriculars. How would you propose to get adequate funding for all the schools? Is anything off the table for you?

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    • Thanks for your question. I have witnessed these cuts with my own children’s schools over the past 15 years. We haven’t had an equitable state funding formula in place since the Rendell administration. I would first advocate that we have have an equitable funding formula that helps the district by funding it fairly. Having the charter reimbursement line back in our budget alone would wipe out our expected deficit. The hold harmless clause keeps funding from dipping below the last year’s level. Our district is no longer shrinking to the degree it was- we are leveling off – and I would like to see us grow again. Unfortunately, you were a student at PPS when most of the cuts to adjust for the large decline in student population took place.

      Governor Wolf has proposed restoring the funds that have been cut. I will work with Mayor Peduto, State Representative Dan Frankel, and County Executive Rich Fitzgerald to be a strong united voice advocating for our students. I have already spoken with them about this important issue and they support the idea to collaborate with the district to help make this happen.

      Part of attracting rather than losing students means offering programs that can compete with other school options. CAPA is one example of this. CAPA was recently named the 20th best high school in PA by U.S. News and World Report http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/pennsylvania/districts/pittsburgh-school-district/pittsburgh-capa-6-12-17273. Pittsburgh Obama was 33rd. I have to check to see why Allderdice wasn’t listed in the rankings. I have two Allderdice grads and two freshman there. I would like ALL of our schools to have some unique feature that helps them to attract students and excel academically. Programs such as STEAM are in high demand now and we need to be in front of what types of programs parents want for their children.

      Offering more AP courses doesn’t necessarily cost more. If there is enough demand for AP courses, the courses offerings could be changed around to accommodate this. I also want to see more students try for AP courses. As far as activities, The Mayor’s Task Force on Education has proposed a community schools model. This model would centralize some of the services and activities already offered and place them at schools. More activities could be accessible to students through this type of program. We’ll have to see how this develops. Another way to bring added activities to schools is to coordinate more with some of the foundations, universities and organizations in Pittsburgh. Many of them would like to bring programs into our schools for little or no cost as part of their community outreach. I was on the Summer Dreamers Academy Task Force and personally contacted organizations to ask them to participate. The response was great and now Summer Dreamers is a successful and established program.

      I believe in our public schools and I’m hopeful that they can be successful in providing a great education to our students. The only thing off the table for me is not advocating for the best for our students. As a PPS parent, I want the best for my children. As someone who has seen the district’s bumpy ride over the last 15 years, and student taught in schools worse off than than the ones my children attended, I also want the best education possible for ALL of the children in our school district.

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