Questions and answers with Jane Goodwin
Name: Jane Goodwin
Occupation: Educational advocate
Age: Not given
Family: One daughter, two grandchildren
Education: BSBA in Business Administration and Education
Elected government experience: Two terms on the school board
Why are you running for school board?
I am Vice Chair and have served 2 terms. I am an incumbent. I am a former teacher. I have always had the heart of a teacher. I have served in a leadership role in 5 referendums within this county which has enabled Sarasota County Schools to go from good to great through increased funding for the operations
budget. This gave us the ability to make our school day longer and pay our teachers more money. A child who completes all K-12 with SCSB has an additional year of instruction over and above what the state will pay.
What do you see as the top three challenges facing the district, and where do you stand on each?
- I serve as the Legislative Chair for all of the state school boards in drafting a platform and working with the legislature to fund and promote public education. We have had funding cuts by $4B statewide in the last three years due to a roll back of any growth in required local effort. (RLE). We also have had our dollars drastically cut to maintain schools through a capital budget. We have received less funding than needed to support legislation for safe schools until last year’s session and the Parkland shooting.
- We need to continue to emphasize reading proficiency by third grade. We are having lower scores in 3rd grade reading which is reflected in the behavior of our young students who need social and emotional elements of classroom management.
- We need to continue emphasis of career and college ready for our graduates. Initiatives started in K-8 along with the Educational Foundation are emphasizing that middle school students must plan for their high school studies that lead to post secondary life success.
What is your opinion of the school district’s plan to ultimately set up an in-house police force?
The board has voted on this issue and I go forward with the will of the board. We are staffing for an impressive command and officers who will soften the interior of our schools as we harden the exterior with added security measures. School Resources at the elementary level in 2018 will be the “connective tissue” between students and staff in a proactive roll. Our police partnerships will continue until 2019 when we will man our own school resource officers in our middle and high schools.
Discuss your position on Superintendent Dr. Todd Bowden.
Our analysis of last year’s successes have shown many areas where we have made significant improvement. We increased our “A” score by 4 points. We have many other significant successes. Dr. Bowden runs the schools and we must be vigilant in not micromanaging our superintendent and staff. They work hard. Dr. Bowden is an analytical visionary. We hired the right person for our district. He empowers his staff.
What is your stance on charter schools?
I work very closely with our charters. They have significant achievements in maintaining our A district. About 15% of our students attend charters and their successes are primarily in K-8. They have worked with our community on the referendums and I believe in their processes. Most of our schools are not for-profit. That makes a difference as they are supported and managed locally.
What is your position on closing School Avenue on the campus of Sarasota High School?
I am in support of closing this road permanently. The safety and security of Sarasota High students depends on it and faculty, students and parents would welcome this happening. Our long-range planning staff is working hard with the community, City of Sarasota and all parties to make sure all opinions are represented. During my last year as Chair in 2014, we worked similarly with the community and the Paul Rudolph Historians to make sure we redesigned the building he built in a way that would honor his legacy. That was a powerful experience and good for all of our community. Everyone needs to be heard and considered.