October 20, 2020

Billie Mitchell

Pronouns:She/her
School District:Flint Community Schools
City:Flint

How long have you lived in your district?

5 years

Have you received any endorsements?

None

Are you an incumbent?

No

Why do you want to be a school board member?

I would love to see the Flint Community Schools flourish like they once did. I believe my experience with youth and my passion for the future of youth , gives me an advantage to seeing that our schools return to the great state and standard once held.

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

Education justice means serving students to the degree that THEIR environment and community deems necessary. No one school district is the same , therefore “blanket , one-size fits all” plans are outdated and out of the question , ESPECIALLY in Flint. Flint is unique because of our poverty , illiteracy rates , lead issues , etc…there is no other place that can be compared to Flint.

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

Aside from the obvious lack of aesthetics , school would be a place where children not only grow cognitively , but would grow in their family structure. The amount of support services for families would invest in the structure of the family , creating opportunities for financial , emotional , mental growth and more. I believe if we can support the family , we could ultimately alleviate many barriers that not only families face , but that teachers/administrators face when teaching our children.

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

This goes back to my previous answer around how I reimagine schools and parents , students and families have to be involved in making decisions with our school district because we can only create effective and lasting change when we get to the root of issues that create barriers for learning.

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

My family.

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

My top three educational goals for my school district are: funding , resources , family support.

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

My top three goals at a state level are: funding , the Read by Grade Three Law , School/municipal policies.

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?

I anticipate that due to COVID , schools will not resume in person as planned. My concern is the mental and social health of the students and families and how we can combat issues that may arise due to quarantine.

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

My schools top districts spending priority should be on staffing schools appropriately with teachers , administration and other staff in order to have the manpower to serve the children in the capacity the students need serving. What should not be my districts priority is updating buildings that will have a lesser likelihood of staying open due to repairs and maintenance.

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

I think if students are going to be standardized tested in Flint , then Flint students need to be prepared accordingly. Otherwise standardized test essentially fail Flint students.

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?

If I could have an impact on my school districts curriculum , I would definitely push for students to learn about the different histories such as African American history , foreign language , home economics , financial economics , fine arts and small business instruction.

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

I believe my schools district has a great responsibility in supporting students and staff mental healthy. Ones health without the other calls for a great disturbance and injustice to everyone involved.

How do you think your school district should handle student discipline/and make schools a safe place for students and staff?My schools district should handle student discipline by having those check-ins with the family in order to build that relationship that garners trust and respect first and foremost. Students who do not respond , would be offered counseling and if in fact , a student was violent appropriate measures should be considered.

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

Special education is crucial in Flint’s district because of the added barrier of lead poisoning to our children.

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

My perspective on working toward achieving equity within Flint’s district is shaping a future for our students that does not leave them behind , but in fact puts them ahead. Our poverty and lack Of opportunity should not be built upon in our educational system solely because we are a poor , predominately black community.

Any other information you want to include or share?

I am a tireless fighter for what is right and not what looks right or makes me look good. My work has never been about me and I look forward to continuing on the road of advocating for the greater good of others.