• Name: Barry A. Snell

• Age: 55

• Occupation: Certified public accountant/ school board president

• Marital status/children: Single with three children

• Your neighborhood? How long have you lived there?: South of Montana, 15 years

• Own or rent?: Rent

• Public school or private?: Public schools in New Jersey

• Do you believe the district should cut in half the number of permit students admitted each year? Should permit students be required to maintain a certain GPA to remain in Santa Monica-Malibu schools? Should there be a zero tolerance policy for permit students when it comes to fighting or other acts of violence?

I believe that the current district policy which allows 200 permits per year based on availability is a sound policy. We have consistently been admitting less than that number each year since I have been on the board due to the fact that we have not had the space for these students.

No, I believe that if a student is allowed to have a permit then we as a district should not penalize a student just because he or she is having difficulty in their studies.

Yes, and we do have a policy that states that there will be zero tolerance for acts of violence.

• Should teacher evaluations be made public?

Yes there should be a process for parents to be able to see teacher evaluations.

• Given state funding insecurity and the failure of a recent parcel tax, what should be done to increase local funding for schools? Is a parcel tax the right approach? What other ways would you recommend to raise revenue for the district? Will you look to City Hall for more funding?

We need to have a long-range funding plan. One that includes looking at local funding sources such as measures Y and YY that will be on the ballet in this November. I do not believe that a parcel tax should be the only approach, however, unfortunately the state does not allow school districts to have many ways of raising funds. Our city has been a great partner with our school district and I believe that more funding will be available from the city in the future.

• How much homework is too much for a student in middle school and high school?

I believe too much homework is when a student does not understand the concepts but continues to have long evenings at home trying to complete work that has no relevance. I have seen this from some teachers. Overall I believe that the homework given to our students is valuable for their success.

• The district requires PTAs and other fundraising groups at individual school sites to contribute a certain percentage to an equity fund, which is then distributed to schools in poorer neighborhoods where parents do not raise as much money on their own. Do you believe this policy should continue? What percentage do you think is fair?

I believe we need to take a look at our equity fund policy and see how effective it has been in helping those schools that do not have access to the same funding as some of our other schools. I do believe the policy should continue but be re-evaluated to be more effective for our students. I believe 15 percent is fair.

• What do you think is the appropriate class size for elementary, middle, and high school students?

20 -1 in elementary, 27-1 in middle, and 30-1 in high school.

• What role should the district play in ensuring there is more affordable, workforce housing for teachers/staff?

We should play a major role in workforce housing for our staff. Keeping teachers in the community will only make our schools stronger.

• In remodeling campuses, what should be the top priority?

Our top priority should be safety and the bathrooms at Samohi.

• How do you propose closing the achievement gap?

There is only one way to close the achievement gap. More time in the classroom and an attitude that makes no excuses from teachers, parents and students.

• How can Santa Monica-Malibu remain competitive with private schools such as Crossroads, St. Monicas, Wildwood, New Roads, etc.?

By attracting great teachers and committed administrators.

• What qualities make you a good candidate for school board?

I listen to all sides of an issue before making a decision. I put students first in any issue that arises and I am always trying to find solutions to complex problems facing our schools.

• Administrator and teachers salaries are among the highest in the state, How will you keep these and other personnel costs under control?

I will be very careful in holding salaries down, however, if we want to continue to be one of the best public schools in the state we will have to attract the best people, which means that we must offer a sound employment package.

• What will you do about teachers’ union president; Harry Kelley’s “No show” job that costs the district a minimum $55,000 per year?

Harry Kelley is a strong leader for our teachers and cares greatly about our students. His salary is shared by us with the CalPERS board that he serves on. Any discussion about his salary should be weighed against his work. Since I have been on the board he has been very active in schools and teacher issues.

• If elected, what would you change about the food that is fed to our students?

Nothing! We have a great food program in our school district and it is very health. We should be proud of our salad bar in every school.

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