Candidates running for EBR School Board District 4 seat
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Three women are campaigning to fill the East Baton Rouge School Board District Four seat.
Dawn Collins, the current board member, is not seeking re-election.
One of the women hoping to take over Collins’ position is Tebbe Jackson. She has been an educator for more than 20 years and spent 10 of those years with the East Baton Rouge Parish School System.
Jackson said she wants to represent students, their parents, and educators on the board. She wants accountability when it comes to education in East Baton Rouge Parish.
“I wanted to run to make sure voices are being taken into account when making policies on education,” Jackson explains.
Monique Wicks Robinson is a mother of two children currently enrolled in the East Baton Rouge Parish School System.
She says that after working with kids through her nonprofit, she sees and hears firsthand when adjustments need to be made in schools. She says that after hearing concerns from parents and students, she wants to create change.
“We need to tackle the issues that our youth are facing,” Robinson says. “Illiteracy is a problem. Half of our children are below grade level. It’s an issue we need to address. We need to find out why children are not going to school and get them to grade level.”
Shashonnie Steward’s career is based around the criminal justice system. Her daily tasks involve facilitating home incarceration services through case management.
She says she is running for the EBR School Board District Four seat to tackle the problems before they come across her desk.
“A lot of the people I encounter don’t have a high school diploma, and that results in dropouts,” Steward says. “If I can help on the front end, I may not see them on the back end.”
Jackson says if voters back her at the polls, she wants to see more teachers back in classrooms and being paid what she says they are owed.
“The last time checked EBR has over 100 vacancies. I hear stories about classrooms without teachers so that is a big concern for me,” Jackson explains.
Robinson says it is time to expose and open up resources to parents and students.
“Their children need tutors. They are not sure where to go. Parents need that connectivity,” Robinson says.
Steward says she hopes to collaborate with businesses and expand on the relationships that schools have already established.
“The districts are different. Different resources for different districts. We have to identify the needs and build on the tools the district needs,” Steward says.
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