LRSD School Board Candidates: Sandrekkia Morning, Zone 2
Why are you running for Little Rock School Board?
“I'm from southwest Little Rock and often times people from my area, they get counted our or overlooked. So I felt like it was so important for me to run, not only because I'm young and I'm familiar with what's going on, but it was just important to me to be able to be a representation with my whole existence to empower students who do see me.”
“I want to be a part of change, I want to be part of the solution, and I don't just want to talk about it, I want to be about it. So I'm excited.”
What experience do you have working in public education?
“My background is in teaching poetry and creative writing, so I'm a teaching artist. I’ve spent my adult life teaching poetry and creative writing as a way to teach students how to increase their communication skills, comprehension skills and to also show them how to use it as a coping mechanism, because as we know art is like the cheapest form of therapy. So I’ve worked with several programs with at-risk youth, specifically around Little Rock.”
“I went to Chicot Elementary, Geyer Springs Elementary, Mabelvale Middle, J.A. Fair [High School] and I actually graduated from eStem Charter Schools… so I’m part of the first graduating class.”
What are your main policy goals or things you want to change while in office?
“Some of my main goals are to be able to understand how funds are being allocated to address student needs, and to basically just be able to be a part of having something that's going to be of value to all students.”
“The schools need more resources. They have outdated materials, outdated books, outdated practices, so that's definitely something I would like to address because again we’re living in a new time period and students need to have access to what's going to help them excel in the time that we’re in.”
How has the LRSD fared the past five years without a locally-elected school board? How would you re-introduce the concept of a school board?
“Everyone that’s running for the school board, our interest is the students overall. So with the state relinquishing control and giving it back, it’s just going to be important to be able to reintroduce them to what’s going on.”
“I've had a lot of teachers who just complain about the workload, so I feel like once everything is changed and we have rules and policies in place that are conducive to being beneficial to not only the students but the teachers as well… so just being able to take care of the teachers so that they can take care of the students, that's one of my biggest focuses as well.”
Do you think the state takeover of the LRSD in 2015 was fair? What would you do to make sure that wouldn’t happen again?
“What I think is unfair is when students are not provided the same resources to be able to excel, so again my focus in this whole fight is to make sure that we are able to provide and make the best decisions for students and teachers.”
What can and can’t you do as a LRSD school board member under the state guidelines? Are you worried the public’s expectations will be more than what you can actually do?
“What we do have control over is just being able to be a voice in an ear to what’s going on, so the restrictions that are still in place, I would hope that they don't prevent us from making good decisions that accommodate the teachers and the students.”
How will you handle any disagreements between board members or with the superintendent or the Department of Education?
“I'm a solution-based person and I look at the greater good, so if disagreements do arise… being able to handle those as adults and looking for the greater good, that's my focus. So whatever is going to be the best for the overall population, that's what I'm for.”