Special presentation gives local candidates a forum to speak
In a special three segment debate co-hosted by KHTS AM-1220 and The Signal newspaper, candidates from three local races debated the issues and shared their ideas.
The races for the Newhall School District Board of Trustees, the Newhall County Water District Board and William S. Hart School District Board took to the spotlight.
The Newhall School District race was first on the night, with incumbents Michael Shapiro and Suzan Solomon, and challenger Christy Smith speaking on a variety of issues.
One of the hottest discussions was that of the Newhall School District’s battle with declining funding for Special Education Programs.
Michael Shapiro says that the District will have to find alternative funding for the programs, because the special education population continues to grow in Santa Clarita. “Right now it’s coming out of the general fund,” he said. “We going to have to start doing some more legislation, and we’ll have to send our Superintendent to Sacramento to fight for that.”
Challenger Christy Smith agrees that the problem is a big one. She says the school does indeed need to look at legislations. She believes that the parents can help with this. “Mobilizing those parent groups as a force is very important,” she stated. She also said that she would like to see more grant writing for funds.
Those thoughts were echoed by Suzan Solomon. She also said that the issue is a huge priority that will continue to be addressed until alternative funding is found. “The children of Special Ed are as much our children as those not of Special Ed. They are to be looked at as receiving the same equal access to education as all children in the Newhall School District, and so we will fund our children with the monies that we have in our general fund,” she said.
Other topics the candidates discussed included target test scores for English language learners, declining enrollment and after school programs. You can listen to this entire debate right now, by clicking here.
The Newhall County Water Board debate, as well as the Hart School Board debate will be covered detailed on Wednesday morning.