Josiah Elsaghir, Republican Running for Board of Education.
1. I have never before ran for political office, but I’ve been involved in politics in various ways - such as campaigns, RTC work, and being State Sen. Joe Markley’s legislative aide.
2. I don’t like the way most public schools are going. As someone who went to a private school, my knowledge about the public school system comes from conversations with family, friends, teachers, and my own extensive research. Very few people I talk to actually like their local public school, and that includes Terryville High School. While I’m sure there are many specific issues that people want to change about the Plymouth school system right now I just want to make it clear that I’m willing to make those changes, and will not shy away from tough choices.
3. As a 23 year old, I’m significantly younger than other BOE members, and with that comes a different mindset. However, I am well-studied when it comes to educational policy. I received my undergrad in political science from Messiah College, and I also studied at the University of Oxford. I’m very comfortable speaking about the positives and negatives about various educational policies and methods of teaching.
4. My main goal is simple: do what we must to survive if Gov. Malloy goes through with taking away nearly $10 million in our ECS money. If that happens, we will hurt. The problem is going to be how we deal with that hurt.
5. The possible ECS cuts. Besides that, the greatest long-term problem we, and every other municipality, faces is the state burdening us with unfunded mandates. Plymouth’s teachers, and Plymouth’s parents know best how to educate their children - not state bureaucrats.
6. I will be honest in saying that I’m not sure what strengths Plymouth’s schools have over other schools, but I do know we have a great high school building. Whether or not you were in favor of building it, it exists and is very attractive. Visual appeal is important to actually attracting people to go somewhere.
7. Every teacher I have ever talked to has said they feel restricted in what they can do, and it hurts their ability to teach. Every parent I have ever talked to has said they don’t feel they have enough of a say in what their children are taught. That’s an outrage. I’ll do what I can to give more power to teachers and parents in educating their students and children.