My name is Glen P. Mayes II; I am a candidate for the Austin ISD school board (Place 6). Your published endorsement of my opponent in this race contains both factual and editorial inaccuracies that I would like to address briefly for your readers [“'Chronicle' Endorsements
,” News, April 23].
I am a state certified juvenile corrections officer and afterschool programs director who has watched the dropout rates increase in the Austin Independent School District under the leadership of our current school board. I work closely with the most troubled youth in our community and know they are currently slipping through the cracks. Two years ago I taught a 16-year-old AISD student the alphabet. Your description of me as a "security guard" coupled with your statement that I have "no educational experience other than coaching" fails to recognize the direct impact I have on our community's youth every single day.
Additionally, while I do share the concerns the "tea party" movement has with how our tax dollars are being spent, characterizing me with such a label fails to address the full spectrum of trans-partisan issues I have actively championed for years here in Austin. I am an independent to the core and do not associate myself with either of the establishment political parties.
While my opponent calls for an increase in taxation, I am calling for a serious re-evaluation of how our current tax dollars are being utilized so that we may find more creative and innovative ways to address the growing concerns of our school district. I am also pushing to incorporate real-time budget information into the AISD website so Austin taxpayers can see exactly how their tax dollars are being spent.
I am quite concerned for the 42% of AISD graduates who currently do not go to college after they graduate. I intend to rally the community around these students to ensure they have curriculum choices and are given access to skills training so they may leave the AISD school system empowered and ready to take ownership of their futures.
In order to effect change for our most troubled students, it is time for AISD voters to enact a change in leadership. I look forward to further serving the youth of our community in the capacity of an elected school board member. Please remember to vote on May 8.