1. Full Name, brief bio, headshot, and political affiliation
Tara Jeane is a 17-year classroom teacher and education advocate who believes that when adults collaborate, students win. A 2021 Teacher of the Year, Tara has worked with education leaders throughout California and the nation to reimagine what public education can be. Nothing means more to Tara than a student’s face when they make a breakthrough or a parent’s delight when their child succeeds.
2. What makes you a qualified candidate for school board?
My experience as a classroom teacher and education advocate at the local, state, and national levels has given me both hands-on experience and a 30,000 foot view of public education. I know how to bring people together, how to have hard conversations, and how to ensure that all needs are considered as decisions are made. I believe our school board, school district, and labor partners can work together to make the constructive change our students deserve.
3. Why are you running for the school board?
I want to do more for kids. I’ve taught around 3500 students in 17 years in the classroom, I’ve lobbied our local, state, and national leaders for what our schools need, and I want to do more for our students here in Sacramento. Did you know that on our 7 person school board we don’t have a teacher? My entire career has been about kids. I’ve worked with my colleagues collaboratively to solve any problem that we’ve faced in education. I know how to read district budgets and LCAP plans, I understand how collective bargaining can and should work, and I’m excited to put a teacher voice on our School Board.
4. What race and equity issues might you consider during your tenure?
While a glaring issue is the high suspension rates of black students, race and equity issues go much further. BIPOC students are overidentified in Special Education programs and underrepresented in specialized, advanced programs. BIPOC students are more likely to get into trouble for behavior that doesn’t get their white peers into trouble. BIPOC teachers and staff are both underrepresented and report experiencing descrimination and harassment. Additional equity issues include our poor and houseless students, since poor economic conditions often create barriers to student learning, and our immigrant and refugee students, who have experienced traumatic separation from home and often family, and our LGBTQ+ students, who are at significantly increased risk for suicide. As a school board member, I believe we must partner with our educators, students, and community to open up a conversation that asks how we can make change together. Only through collaboration can we create a healthy, thriving school district for ALL students.
5. How are planning to address the achievement gap in your district?
While the common phrase is achievement gap, the more accurate term would be opportunity gap. The word “achievement” implies that the individual is lacking, while “opportunity” captures the reality that the system needs to improve. Too often a higher-income area can provide supplemental, hands-on experiences with arts, science, history, and travel, while a lower-income area becomes technology driven and test focused. The good news is that the Local Control Funding Formula is designed to provide additional resources to the students who need them. As a school board member, I will advocate that these resources create academic opportunities for these students, because a school system that believes in student potential and invests resources in their success will close the “achievement” gap.
6. Any additional information/platform
Want to know more? Check out my website: Tara4SacCity.org. I look forward to many conversations about our schools, school district, and school board.
Candidate for Sacramento City Unified School District, Area 1
“Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds Peace.” Confucius