October 6, 2020

Todd W. Miller

Pronouns:he/him
School District:Carman-Ainsworth Community Schools
City:Flint

How long have you lived in your district?

25 years

Have you received any endorsements?

N/A

Are you an incumbent?

No

Why do you want to be a school board member?

It is my goal to represent our Carman-Ainsworth community to ensure the voices of all students, parents, graduates, professionals, residents, and other stakeholders are heard.

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

My background in vocational education supports my interest in ensuring that we meet the needs of students requiring and desiring education in the trades both within our school district, and in collaboration with Genesee Career Institute. Having worked with diverse student and professional populations throughout my career, my second passion is to ensure that Carman-Ainsworth Community Schools is able to educate staff and students in Anti-Biased and Anti-Racist practices, utilizing the insight of current employees as well as those of BIPOC professionals from outside of the district.

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

I would need additional access to reputable and research-based data sources to successfully answer this question.

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

All stakeholders should have a voice in the decisions within the school district. Their thoughts, feelings, priorities, and needs should be sought using regular surveys and open forums designed to give people a platform to share their perspectives without fear of retaliation or judgement.

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?

Social Justice including diversity, equity, and inclusion
Access to vocational training as there is a shortage of workers in the skilled trades

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

These are the same as my local priorities.

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 believe that we will continue to see challenges related to COVID in terms of enforcing safety measures, communicating to families, and educating our students. All issues will need to be addressed and readdressed frequently as new information and data from reputable sources becomes available. Plans must be developed, but flexibility is going to be key when (not if) plans need to be adjusted.

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

Safety – both physical and emotional/mental
Academic Excellence
Fine Arts

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

I don’t believe that standardized tests are going to go away anytime soon. I think every effort should be made to ensure the most equitable testing experience and environment for the students of CACS.

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 do not currently have sufficient information to provide an answer to this question.

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

It is the responsibility of the school district to care for the whole child, including social emotional learning. The same is true for staff. Resources should be provided to ensure that care is trauma-informed and available to all.

How do you think your school district should handle student discipline/and make schools a safe place for students and staff?

Improving the culture of mutual respect within the buildings throughout the district is the first step toward having a preventive strategy regarding discipline instead of a reactive strategy.

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

Providing appropriate special education services and supports isn’t just our moral duty, it is a legal obligation. My priority is to make sure that the district is following legal mandates and actively seeking to identify students who need programming at an early age while utilizing the full continuum of services from RTI to 504 Plan to an IEP.

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

Having worked with diverse student and professional populations throughout my career, my second passion is to ensure that Carman-Ainsworth Community Schools is able to educate staff and students in Anti-Biased and Anti-Racist practices, utilizing the insight of current employees as well as those of BIPOC professionals from outside of the district. It is my goal to represent our Carman-Ainsworth community to ensure the voices of all students, parents, graduates, professionals, residents, and other stakeholders are heard.

Any other information you want to include or share?