October 20, 2020

Timothy Abdul-Matin

Pronouns:Mr.
School District:Flint community schools
City:Flint

How long have you lived in your district?

Over 10 years

Have you received any endorsements?

Yes , Senator Jim Ananich.

Are you an incumbent?

No

Why do you want to be a school board member?

I believe my life experience gives me insight at what are school district needs to do for our children. We need more men from our community to step up and be a voice and I believe that my voice can make a difference in the decision making of our kids future.

What does education justice mean to you? What does it mean specifically in the context of your school district?

Education Justice for me is ensuring that every student gets treated fairly and be invested in. That those with the most need get the resources they need and that policies that negatively and disproportionately effect students be changed or eradicated. Also , I believe that education justice is given students from impoverished neighborhoods and school district get the same opportunities to be part of the civic life of their community as those in affluent neighborhoods and districts.

If you could completely reimagine the way schools look after this public health crisis, what would they look like?

My vision is to make sure that our facilities infrastructure is up to code and sustainable. It is environmentally unjust to have buildings in the 21st century where the infrastructure is outdated and dilapidated. We should expand our educating methods by implementing best practice models and bringTrauma informed practices to educate our children. Community involvement , we must work with community centers and organizations that can offer additional resources and outlets for students. Last but not less , we have to make sure we get funding and be accountable for making sure it is sustainable so that we don’t have to make decisions that could impact the health of our students.

Describe how you think parents, students, and families should be involved in making decisions within your school district?

Families voices should be heard and i believe that our school district should be engaging with families to see how they could work together. We need more school/family events and more transparency from school districts. I will create a community educational commission involving parents , students , educators , administrators , and community members with the intention of bridging the gap between them all.

Who (if any) are your top financial supporters for your campaign?

N/A

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals within your school district?

1. Expanding the curricula
2. Rebrand our district’s mission
3. Training , we must get adequate training for our educators.

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals at a state level?

1. Increase per-pupil funding
2. Address institutional and structural barriers
3. Provide additional funding for students with special needs.

What challenges do you anticipate this school year to COVID and what do you think your school district must do to keep students & staff safe?

The biggest challenge we will face will be keeping our students and educators safe. Our school district must put in the proper safe guards for students and educators. Acquiring PPE , decreasing classroom sizes , and creating a safety plan that will be best at minimizing the potential spread of COVID-19.

What should be your school district’s top spending priorities in their budget? Alternatively, what should not be prioritized your district’s budget?

Our top priority should be focus on our children that need special education and on decreasing the digital literacy gap.

What role do you think standardized tests should play in your school district?

I believe that standardized testing should play a very little role. Often times educators are pressured to teach their classrooms based on these standardized testing dates and students get left behind because the may not learn as quick as other students , or they don’t perform well on testing. Not to mention , some studies show that standardized testing are culturally bias.

If you could have an impact on your school district’s curriculum , what changes would you make? What, if anything, would you keep the same?

I would elevate Black and non-dominant narratives and promote relevant , culturally-influenced education and self- determination for minority communities. I would provide culture and history training for educators and increase teacher diversity. One of the most important things I would like to see is skill trades programs , expanding art programs and implementing artificial intelligence learning , blockchain development and cloud computing.

What responsibility do you believe your school district has in supporting students’ and staffs’ mental and emotional health/wellbeing?

My campaign mantra is entitled: “Bring back the village” and I believe that every person involved in a students life has a responsibility to provide that child/student with a safe and healthy environment. Nonetheless , we must also provide our educators with that same
Kind of compassion and love as well. After all , these are the individuals who are part of our village that will be educating our children.

How do you think your school district should handle student discipline/and make schools a safe place for students and staff?I believe our district needs to adopt best practice restorative justice models and have trauma informed Individuals to deal with any students with disciplinary problems. If we can find monies to bring in these trained professionals we could eliminate criminalizing our students because we don’t know how to manage their behaviors.

What are your top priorities around special education in your district?

More funding for special education
Additional resources and trainings for educators who are education those students who need special education.

What is your perspective on working towards achieving equity within your school district?

We must adopt a just plan on ensuring that we achieve equitable outcomes for students and provide an avenue for using an equity lens to review all policies , practices and procedures within our school district.

Any other information you want to include or share?

Unfortunately Due to work , I can not attend this virtual forum but I want voters to know that I will fight hard for our children , educators and our school district. We will bring back the village so that as a community our schools will be the best choice again.