Marilou Estes Wants to Bring Compassion, Communication, and Common Sense to the Chandler Unified School District Governing Board

Veteran Chandler educator Marilou Estes wants to continue helping the children and teachers in the school district…

As a member of the Chandler Unified School District Governing Board.

Frustrated by a vocal minority of fringe ignorant partisan conservative zealots, that are attempting to steer public school policy backwards with calls for book banning, teaching a distorted view of history, and discriminating against members of the LGBTQ community, Ms. Estes wants to bring compassion, communication, and common sense to the Chandler Board.

If elected, she will work to enact school policies that retain and well compensate educators in the district. She will also champion policies that benefit children, involve parents, and move Chandler schools forward.

Ms. Estes graciously took the time to discuss her candidacy for the Chandler School Board.

The questions and her responses are below.

  • What are at least two reasons you would like to run for the Chandler Unified School District Governing Board?

“As a former teacher in the Chandler Unified School District, I am alarmed by the unprecedented exit of teachers, both locally and nationally in the teaching profession.

As a board member, I want to be a voice for Chandler teachers and make sure that CUSD is committed to attract and retain the high quality of teachers that are currently in the district.

Also, I have witnessed the partisanship and polarization that has been happening at the CUSD school board meetings. I do believe parents have the right to be a participant in the design of a quality education, but that no one special interest group should control the narrative and unduly influence the board’s decisions.”

  • Please tell the reader, what are at least two qualifications you have to serve on the school.

“I taught in CUSD for 21 years at the elementary school level at three different schools within the district. I taught at Galveston, Bologna, and Basha elementary and was involved in many levels of leadership within each of those schools. I am a stepmom to adult children, all of whom attended CUSD schools at the elementary, junior high and high school levels.

I continue to be involved in educational issues: getting signatures for many educational ballot initiatives, supporting the Red for Ed teacher movement at the capital, and I am endorsed by  Arizona Save our Schools as a Public Schools Proud candidate.”

  • If elected, what are at least two education related issues you would champion as a member of the Chandler Unified Governing Board?

“Chandler is considered a premier school district within the state. As I previously mentioned, I am very concerned about the unprecedented number of teachers exiting the profession in our state, be it early retirements or just lack of support for their chosen profession.  Many former colleagues, friends and current teachers have also expressed this concern to me.

 If the district cannot continue to retain the high-quality teachers who are currently employed within the district, the district standard of quality will be diminished.

Number two, polarizing partisan’s strategies are hell bent on destroying our public schools. And I’m talking about that a little bit later.”

  • Please describe your views on the legislature’s attempt to ban certain types of books mandated the story version of history, education discriminate against children, LGBTQ community, and change the funding formula for public schools including the expansion of vouchers.

“There are many attempts by our legislators to introduce bills that reflect the troubling beliefs of a group of misinformed and partisan driven individuals who would like to dismantle public education.

With that said the school board must follow the laws the legislature has enacted, whether or not they are in the best interest of public-school students.

The banning of books is one of the reasons I decided to put my name in as a candidate for the school board. It is very unsettling that a very vocal minority of individuals are controlling the narrative and attempting to unduly influence the state and school board decisions.

For example, CRT is a college level course and is not a part of  Arizona K-12 curriculum. Legislation has recently been passed that confirms CRT must not be taught in Arizona’s public schools. CRT shouldn’t be an issue, but it is.  Unfortunately the myth persists that CRT is infiltrating the curriculum at all levels of instruction.

With respect to the LGBTQ community, every child regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation must be treated with respect by all members of the educational community. The school board members must set the tone to make this imperative a reality.

The polarizing partisan strategists are bent on destroying and or crippling public education in favor of vouchers. Due to the recent Supreme Court’s decision concerning voucher use for parochial school tuition, school boards need to exercise their power at the state level and local to influence how funding strategies are determined in an effort to save our schools.”

  • Is there anything not covered in the first four questions that you’d like the readers to know about you and your candidacy for the Chandler Unified School Board? Please explain.

“My family moved to Scottsdale Arizona in 1962, and I am a product of Scottsdale public schools.

I have lived in Chandler for 40 years, working in the corporate world for Motorola.  Single and 36 years old, I decided to go back to school to get my degree in education. I worked part-time at Motorola, while going to school full time.  After graduation from ASU, I was hired right out of college at Chandler’s Galveston Elementary School. During my tenure with CUSD I also completed my Master’s Degree from Northern Arizona University.

After retiring from CUSD, I continued to be a substitute teacher at many of Chandler’s schools, but eventually subbed exclusively at Hartford Elementary. I have continued to stay informed on educational issues as well as the many challenges teachers are now facing in a very polarizing environment.  I am, and will continue to be, a voice of support for children, parents, teachers, support staff and administration.”

Please click on the below social media sites to find out more about Marilou Estes and her candidacy for the Chandler Unified School Board.

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