Marcia Andrews, Candidate & Current Palm Beach County School Board Member

Marcia Andrews
  1. What are your top 3 priorities if elected?

My top four priorities for the coming year are student safety, unfinished learning, increasing grade 3 reading performance and expanding mental health programs and resources.  We must ensure our school police have the training and resources they need to keep our children safe and work collaboratively with the Sheriff’s Department and our municipal law enforcement partners.  We must identify students who have fallen behind due to the pandemic and provide extra tutoring and support.  We need more full time VPK programs and must realign literacy with grades K-2 as we are now using the new BEST standards. Finally, using ESSER, referendum, and operational dollars to expand the number of behavioral health professionals, guidance counselors, school psychologists, co-located mental health professionals in every school.

2. Do you have a child attending a Palm Beach County PUBLIC school or have you in the past?

My daughter is a current Palm Beach County School District teacher.  She has five children who have attended our public schools.  My granddaughter is currently a high school student.

3. Do you think teachers deserve a pay increase?  If yes, will you commit to teacher raises this year?

In recent years, our veteran teachers have not received comparable increases to new teachers. I believe that needs to change. It is essential voters approve the revenue neutral school referendum this year to ensure we have the funding necessary to provide those veteran teachers a raise this year.  I will also continue to lobby Tallahassee for more funding.

4. Do you think code red drills are effective?

Yes.  And we should continue with them.

5. Do you think teachers should be armed?

No.  Currently, we have a police officer in every school, many have more than one.  We also recently signed a new agreement with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office to provide additional officers.  We also have numerous agreements with our local municipal police agencies to respond to our schools.  This year, we are also instituting the new emergency panic badges, which allow teachers to alert school police immediately in the event of an emergency.  We are also hardening our schools with a single point of entry and investing in extensive training for our police officers.  There is no reason to require teachers to also be armed.

6. Do you think Critical Race Theory should be taught in our schools?  Why or why not?

I do not support teaching Critical Race Theory.  That said, Critical Race Theory has never been taught in our public schools.  Under current law, it is illegal.

7. Do you support Moms for Liberty?

I support parental involvement in our public schools.  As a former teacher, assistant principal, principal, the former Director of Human Resources and now as your school board member, I work with parents and teachers every day to address the needs of our students.  Almost every school has a PTA and/or PTO and a School Advisory Council which enables parents to directly interact with teachers and principals.  Most communities also have active education committees which I attend on a regular basis.

8. What do you think about Florida’s Don’t Say Gay law?

I support age-appropriate sex education.  Currently, and prior to the passage of HB 1557, discussions about sexual orientation and gender identity are/were not part of the curriculum until the end of 5th grade as part of health education instruction.  I believe in providing all our students with a safe and affirming education.

9. Briefly, tell us about your experience. Have you ever taught in a public school? Volunteered?

As the current School Board member for District 6, a former teacher, assistant principal, principal, district Director of Human Resources and union member (CTA), I know public education.  I have a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Science Degree in Education and Administration, respectively.  I have a keen understanding of the unique challenges our principals, teachers. Employees, and students face.  I have a long, proven record of accomplishment in my district, which is why I have received the endorsements of nearly every elected official in District 6 and beyond.  After facing the recent challenges of the pandemic, I am the best qualified candidate to help get our school district and students back on track.     

10. Do you think public schools should receive more funding?

Yes, and I make it a point to spend some time in Tallahassee every year encouraging law makers to increase funding.