Marlena in entrance of her highschool, West Excessive.
We had an ideal drama program. We did superb productions. We did a manufacturing of a present the place all the male members have been black however they have been taking part in KKK members. You actually needed to stretch the bounds of creativeness to get into the characters. A black man was taking part in my husband who bombed a church and killed black kids. Should you don’t know and in the event you don’t go there to search out out, don’t run your mouth.
I get pleasure from elevating consciousness of what these faculties actually are as an alternative of how they’re perceived.
On the marketing campaign path, I’ve met youngsters from all totally different faculties across the district. I’ve met youngsters from totally different marching bands that I didn’t even know existed, youngsters who’re in nice applications who battle to get uniforms and to search out funding to journey to away video games.
Should you don’t dig, all you would possibly hear is, “Oh that’s a foul college. They’ve dangerous youngsters.”
2. That is your first time operating for an elected workplace. Why are you operating?
The brief reply is that I really feel I could make a distinction.
Up till the 2016 election, I voted and took part and even canvassed generally for a trigger or a candidate that I favored. In 2016, although, what occurred was one thing that no one thought might occur. A one that mocks people with disabilities, brags about utilizing ladies as objects: How might an individual this horrible get elected to the best workplace on this nation? None of this was okay.
However then I assumed, if that particular person might be president, I can run for workplace. Not solely that, however I can run for workplace and win.
So once I first determined to run it was a response—a response to issues that have been occurring.
However then as I regarded into it and talked about it extra with individuals, it turned extra practical.
three. Why run for varsity board?
I dwell within the Cincinnati college district. I’ve one youngster who’s within the district. She’s been in CPS since kindergarten and she or he’s now a junior in highschool. That offers me an incentive to run and to work exhausting. My flesh and blood is impacted by choices made on the board.
However, it’s not simply her. I see what different youngsters are going via: what’s working for them, what’s not.
And once I hear issues about our children like, “They’re simply dangerous youngsters,” and so they’re being written off and nobody’s making an attempt to get to know them or perceive their struggles. It drove me to need to run.
Marlena with supporters earlier than the Cincinnati Delight Parade.
It’s giving again. I wouldn’t be who I’m if I hadn’t of gone to Westwood and West Excessive. These are experiences that formed who I’m and if I can assist make optimistic adjustments for 36,000 youngsters in the long term, that’s an enormous optimistic distinction for this entire area.
I need to have a greater future so one of the simplest ways I can suppose to try this is to spend money on the children who’re going to be that future.
four. What’s your largest subject on the subject of the Cincinnati Public Colleges?
There’s two actually huge points and so they go hand in hand. The primary one is funding. That’s not only a CPS subject: Public districts all around the nation are feeling the results of lack of funding from a federal stage. We’ve bought issues like IDEA and Title I which have by no means been absolutely funded. They’re mandates with out funding.
Within the CPS district, over the previous 10 years we’ve been underfunded on this stuff to the tune of about $1 billion.
We have now to combat for the funding that public districts are due from state and federal budgets. In Ohio, most of faculty funding comes from property taxes and that has been dominated unconstitutional by our state supreme court docket, however it’s nonetheless how we’re funding faculties.
Domestically, we’re seeing property tax abatements eat into college funding. I imagine it’s about time for our faculties to claw again a few of this cash. You possibly can’t speak about how our faculties are “failing” when the state is asking them to do increasingly more with much less. Don’t speak about how a college like Taylor Academy doesn’t have a soccer staff whereas a college like Fairview does with out trying on the funding for these faculties.
5. And the second subject?
The second is Board Coverage 2255. That is the coverage that spells out fairness and excellence in public training. That is the coverage that spells out how if we wish all of our children to achieve their potential, we have to distribute sources equitably.
If we’re going to speak about our fairness coverage, we’ve bought a big college district that’s very various with college students who’ve many several types of wants. We have now some faculties which have extra sources for issues like after-school actions or marching bands, and a few faculties that actually battle with it.
We will’t speak about how we’re going to rectify the fairness state of affairs if we don’t have the cash.
What it usually comes all the way down to is that the mother and father of some youngsters have more cash than others.
When it comes to our fairness coverage, some faculties don’t want as a lot, and a few faculties want quite a bit. We have to do extra for these faculties.
6. What’s been the most effective half up to now of operating?
I feel I’d must say it’s assembly new individuals and the conversations, particularly with individuals who have the identical frustrations. They need to discuss to me and so they need to share.
They are saying, “This has been my expertise or this has been my child’s expertise.” What I say to them is, “You’re preaching to the choir, I hear you, it’s why I’m operating.”
And I’m listening to this so many occasions from so many individuals all throughout this district that it makes me really feel I’m in precisely the suitable place.
7. What recommendation would you give to different people who find themselves operating?
Brookfield for Board sign up Cincinnati.
First, I’d carry up that these races are extraordinarily vital and we regularly don’t hear a lot about them. Typically they’re very winnable races when you have or can construct some title recognition in your neighborhood.
If I needed to begin throughout from the start, I’d do extra in-house group first. For me, I didn’t know that there was this entire course of you’re imagined to undergo to run for workplace.
I did all of the issues that Board of Elections stated I used to be imagined to do, however I’ve by no means carried out something like this earlier than. So I didn’t essentially see or perceive all the numerous totally different inner-workings.
Working this yr gave me a significantly better understanding.
Marlena Brookfield is a full-time volunteer and public training activist operating for the Cincinnati Public Colleges’ Board of Training. She is dedicated to bettering the academic outcomes for all college students within the district.