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My name is Christine Kramar I am a stay-at-home parent to four committed to creating a quality community for our children to grow up in Las Vegas, Nevada. I operate another blog VegasfortheFamily.com  and over writing it the last year I have met many parents who wish they could do more to advance the cause of better funding for Nevada schools, but simply do not know where to start or have limited time and resources.

I have worked to advocate for students in special education and for Autism causes. I have two children on the Autism spectrum and had to take a break from traditional work to meet the needs of their schedules. I believe that early intervention therapy works  – it saved my kids.

My own children have it very easy. Yet every day I cannot help but remember how many others struggle. As a community we need to speak up to the inhumanity of an education system that is about shrinking versus a system of hope and growth through education.

This is also about respect for our teachers. As a parent to four kids I have worked with many teachers. While we may not have agreed on everything I believe in their genuine humanity. I have watched teachers do more with less. Teachers who earn less than bartenders, parking valets, and strippers but have a student loan on top of it to pay off for the privilege of educating our children. A married couple who are both teachers in Las Vegas have a very hard time reaching the same standard of living as more lucrative unskilled jobs.

It is time to make teaching a respected institution in our community.

When our kids hear pundits complaining about our overpaid teachers it trickles down into how they treat educators in return. My son’s high school classes have over 40 students per class. Who would want to work in that environment? My other son his kindergarten teacher works both AM and PM classes THEN goes to work another afternoon evening shift at a daycare center away from her kids so our district can afford to pay her less than what the concierge at any major strip hotel pays.

This is not about unions. Many of our teachers choose NOT to join their union. From the lack of effort CCEA has put out there to engage and inform our community so we can step up and intelligently support our teachers I do not blame them. I know we have many educators who vote pro education but have had enough of the inaction of their representatives. We can’t wait for the negotiation process to take its course, action has to happen now.

As parents we need to be concerned about outsourcing as a fundamental safety issue. When the financial incentive exists not to do background checks they won’t get done. I know this first hand from working as a manager in a facility that used outsourced third party labor.

From working with political campaigns I have learned how to leverage social media. Now is the time to get parents involved to spread the word. Additionally we need to train parents from all different backgrounds on how to advocate in every area of education from their child’s school up to the state and federal legislature. We may not have the time to get involved with another group several times a year on top of all of the other meetings we must attend to involved in our kids lives. We CAN vote. We CAN testify. We CAN hold officials accountable.

Unless you work full time in politics you may not know who the advocates for education are who desperately need your voice of support to fix education. I hope to provide information both about those activism groups and help them reach back to parents. Candidates need to understand that parents have very busy schedules. Campaigns need to understand that not everyone has $5-$10 an hour to pay someone to watch your kids so you can volunteer. We need action that is welcoming for families to engage in a new tradition of civic engagement.

Our students need a future. Our students deserve to have politicians accountable for the votes they take for or against their future. The day where a politician can vote AGAINST funding for schools, then show their smiling face dropping off a bag of school supplies to appear in support of education are OVER. Try that again in Nevada I will post your smiling face with the word TRAITOR in red across it with your voting history below and ensure it goes viral to parents.

In full disclosure I am a proud Democrat and serve on the executive board of the Clark County Democratic Party as recording secretary. I believe this opportunity has given me the connections and skills necessary to get the answers students deserve from elected officials. I serve on this board as an unpaid elected official. My duty is to represent back to the board the voice of our community my primary constituency group is parents. I am proud of my record of putting students first.

All positions, actions, and statements are my own and are in no way controlled or directed by any political party.

Please join the email list and follow on twitter. We have waited too long to fix education.

Christine Kramar

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