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Board Of Education Interviews Begin Courier Candidate Profile: Craig Davis

Craig Davis has a long history within the Beverly Hills Unified School District. Davis, who is a City native, has been an educator at Hawthorne School for 26 years, only recently retiring his position in 2008.

While at Hawthorne, Davis taught math, physical education and technology – an issue which factors heavily into his political campaign for one of the two available seats on the Board of Education.

“I am passionate about technology specifically because I am a teacher in education,” said Davis. “Because of that, I am always looking forward to see what we can do, we could do or should do with technology integration.”

Involved on the BHUSD technology and planning committee since 1982, Davis has introduced multiple innovations to Hawthorne School and the District as a whole.

“The people who make decisions about technology in the district don’t know enough about technology to make these decisions,” he said. “They don’t have the experience or depth of knowledge. I have built networks at Hawthorne and pulled wires. I have set-up wireless networks. I can repair computers. The point is: I have a huge background in educational technology.”

Davis sees much to be improved in City relations with area schools regarding the Municipal Area Network (MAN), a citywide computer and wireless network.

“For what should have been a very easy joint effort, it seems to have taken a number of years for any agreement between the City and schools to move forward in installing fiber optics in the schools,” he posited. Davis, if elected, would look to solidify this relationship.

Davis also points to issues concerning Measure E.

“The citizens were misled,” he said. “Yes we need to secure our school sites and continue to address the safety of our facilities. But does that cost $334 million? The lack of a clear plan remains a major issue.”

If elected, Davis would revisit all contracts relating to Measure E, remove pay-to-play conflicts, require at least three bonafide bids before contract approval, reorganize the implementation of the Citizen Oversight Committee (the public arm that monitors of all bond issues) and appoint carefully selected community members. Davis also proposes that a new site should be selected for the BHUSD office, relocating it to the corner of Gregory and Elm Drives.

This would open up the current site for a maintenance building. Thus, he said, preserving athletic field space at the high school.

Basic aid, or funding for the district based solely on property taxes, is also a pivotal point of his platform. He is in favor of zero-based budgeting and points to concerns regarding retention of staff and academic programs (particularly electives) as the district moves deeper into basic aid funding. Davis also would reevaluate the opportunity permits awarded to out-of-district students.

“If we remain in basic aid and not a school of choice, I would not support opportunity permits,” he said.

“I would not throw out the existing (opportunity) permit (students) summarily. I would find some buffer.”

Other issues finding their way onto Davis’ platform include the interview and appointment process for administration, retention of said administrators and the raising of the academic bar at all sites.

Davis would like to provide additional support for students and staff. “Test scores are but one measure of our student’s achievement,” he said. “But they affect the perception of a school and community.”

To ensure this, Davis would support continuing and adding to the preschool programs within the BHUSD as well as add more in-service days to the academic calendar.

A meet-and-greet is scheduled for Davis Monday, Aug. 3, at 316 S. Wetherly Dr. at 7 p.m.  To RSVP, call 310-273-5664.

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