1. California ranks among the top states in per capita expenditures on a number of government programs (i.e. corrections, law enforcement, general government), but just near or below the national average on expenditures for kids’ programs, including education and Medi-Cal. What are your thoughts on this prioritization of expenditures and what, if any, changes would you make in this regard?

Children are top priority and should be treated in this manner. Safety and the care of children are number one. I will change the way children are NOT protected in California. The information given to children is improper and misleading them, they are kids not adults. California is obviously steering the wrong direction when you focus on the Educational system and how low our test scoring is going. Protecting Children will be a huge focus of mine, assuring they are well cared for and drugs away from kids is a priority ONE. Instead of just say no, we allow (anything goes), with the attitude of nobody cares. This is totally unacceptable.

2. California assumes responsibility for abused and neglected children when we remove them from their homes. Therefore, the State is legally obligated to ensure that children and youth in foster care receive vital services and supports to meet their unique needs and find safety, stability and success. How would you strengthen the child welfare system?

Good question; I would START over! The CPS currently in operation is understaffed; (good excuse) to not provide the necessary services. The entire program is antiquated, it should be revamp to assure the entire safety of each and every child. It is sickening to hear of occurrences after the fact, it’s too late. It would be great to hear how this program is a success, but nobody is working to make a change.

3. California ranks poorly in national reports for supporting families with infants and toddlers. The state does invest in programs like evidence-based home visiting – which provide guidance, offer coaching, and connect parents and caregivers to health and social services – but those only reach about 2% of families with young children. What strategies, if any, do you support to aid new and expectant parents and young children during this critical phase of life?

This program should be run and organized by a strong leader who delegates to a team and organizes it like a private business instead of another governmental agency that is NOT accountable to anyone…..POORLY run program.

4. More than 2.75 million young children live in California, with the majority being income-eligible for child care assistance. Yet just a fraction of eligible children have access to subsidized child care spaces, due to insufficient funding for child care capacity. This gap is most pronounced for infants and toddlers, where child care subsidies served only 14% of eligible families (pre-pandemic). What is your position on this issue, and what, if anything, should be done to ensure that all families have access to high-quality child care?

Again, this is another unorganized, (who cares) run program by the government. It needs to be run like a private business with accountability. Our Gov. programs are free money, no accountability that leads to unsuccessful results. It need to change to an accountability program with ONE person in charge (accountable) with this persons feet to the fire. This person would delegate to others who maintain proper daily success data! It works in the private sector, I’ve been in business for 30 years. If I ran a business like these programs, I would be broke and failed within one year. There are no failures with their programs because nobody is accountable.

5. The average salary of a California public employee is nearly $87,000, while the average salary of a California child care provider is $35,400, and most other professionals who work with kids are also below the public employee average. What are your ideas, if any, about responding to this disparity?   

If the program is turned to a private sector; we can delegate the requirements of the provider. We do this in the Counties with required pay rates; it works well! For example; Cities and Counties in CA require a minimum pay rate for Contractors, this must be met at a minimum. Great idea.

6. The latest available data shows California ranks 49th among the 50 states in teacher-to-student ratio, 47th in school counselors, and 46th in school administrators. We also rank near the bottom in terms of school nurses, with approximately one nurse for every 2,400 students and no nurses at all in some smaller counties. What are your thoughts on these rankings, and what, if anything, should be done in response?

WOW; that is the most disgusting thing to imagine. Most school districts are overfunded, and must spend the money or they will loose the funds. Sickening….

Schools need to have State requirements that must be met or the Superintendent is admonished or replaced. This is a disaster, and has not been properly met at the STATE level. That is the entire problem with this issue. I know how to fix this issue, and am aware of the current problems.

7. California has the highest percentage of kids who are dual language learners, ages 0-5, (60%) and school-age English Learners (21%) in the country. How should the State support these students’ bilingual/multilingual potential? What are your thoughts on how educators in early education and TK-12 can be prepared to assist these students to meet their language development needs?

I believe it is important to be familiar with other languages, students should be required to learn at an early age. This has been proven to be more effective. Example; I grew up in Louisiana, we were required to learn French in Grade School/Jr. High. Great programs, they worked.

8. Over the past 40 years, state spending on higher education has dropped from 18% to 12% of the state budget. What is your position on funding for public higher education?

I will support better funding for higher education, it is of the utmost importance in CA. This is our future.

9. Over 55% of California’s kids are enrolled in Medi-Cal, but California performs near the bottom amongst all state Medicaid programs when it comes to children’s access to primary care physicians and important childhood screenings, especially for children of color. In addition, many California children lack access to oral health care, vision services, hearing aids, and mental health and substance abuse supports and services. What would you do, if anything, to increase access to these services?  

The program needs to be reorganized and again; run it like the private sector. These guys would be out of business in a year. Nobody is accountable, look at EDD. At the end of the day, the person in charge did not even know who, what or why this disaster occurred. REALLY? Change the program, again just like CPS. These are a laugh as a business, but it makes one very sad because it affects children. If it doesn’t resonate with someone, they have no soul. I genuinely care for the well-being of children. They are being exploited in this state by many venues, it is clearly child abuse.

10. The suicide rate among Black youth has dramatically increased in recent years. In addition, Major Depressive Episodes (MDE) among youth have grown, but only about one third of youth with an MDE received treatment. What should be done to ensure that more children receive needed mental health supports and services?

This is one of the biggest problems, we need to assure proper care for the mentally ill are facilitated immediately. This should be handled as an emergency, with clear access to treatment.