Zone 5 D21 candidates were also asked at a recent forum “how they would invest in faculty and facilities.”

Perry said investing in mental health days would be a great way to support faculty. She said she’s gotten emails from her children’s teachers on weekends, showing they work well beyond the school day.

She said she’d like to find strategic ways to share the workload and ease burdens on teachers.

She reiterated that she would like to see all new schools, but on a timeline the community can support.

She’d like to seek grants and do due diligence in seeking out experts and using them to help decrease the impact on taxpayers.

Bethani Frantz-Studebaker said culture and climate were important to taking care of staff so they feel safe, invested, and advocated for.

“We have some amazing educators in The Dalles. I don’t think you guys should discount that,” she said.

She thinks facilities go hand in hand with faculty support. “The reality is, in America, we pay for our facilities with our taxes.”

She said the district “wasn’t hearing all the voices” during the last bond election. “We need new schools—bad. How that looks, I’m not sure.” She added, “We need to go back to the drawing board.”

Josh Farris said staff should have input on policy affecting them. He’s been a substitute teacher in the district and feels every board member should do recess duty because it’s so eye opening.

He said he’d like to attend union meetings of teachers and classified staff.

A counselor told him schools really needed in-house mental health counselors for kids and a social worker to help students with various needs.

He said he’s heard people say, “why should we give the district more money when they can’t take care of what they have?”

He said buildings are in “serious disrepair” but the janitors “are good.” He feels it’s a leadership problem and the district should no longer “farm out” its maintenance and food service to Sodexo, a profitable Paris-based company.

He said teachers needed smaller classrooms, particularly at the elementary level, with no more than 20 students each, and they should also have a teacher’s aide.

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