Education is the cornerstone of democracy
My name is Zakaria Sharif and I am a candidate for the Erie School Board. I was born in Somalia and my family moved there because of the brewing war. We arrived in Kenya where we were in a refugee camp for five years until we arrived in 1996 in Erie, the place I now call home.
I am a poster for Erie Public Schools and a proud graduate of East High School which is now a college. I then got my bachelor’s degree from Penn State. I am currently employed with the Erie County Department of Health as a public health educator. This position has allowed me to serve our city and county enormously, especially during the peak of the pandemic.
Following:“Ready to see the change:”
My passion has always been to stand up for people without a voice or representation and to give back to the community that raised me. I sincerely believe, as Nelson Mandela said, “education is the most powerful weapon to change the world” and I want to make sure that we give our teachers, students and parents the necessary accommodations and resources. to succeed. Join me in our “Erie Can’t Wait Campaign” with Erie County United to create a campaign that invests in our children now and creates a vibrant future for Erie.
Providing everyone with equal educational opportunity is one of the cornerstones of American democracy. America’s Founding Fathers were aware of the need for an educated population as it enables all citizens of the country to be successful. The need and desire to create an environment where all children have an equal educational opportunity to succeed is now creating fundamental challenges in education in America. In the 21st century, questions about school funding relate to how to overcome fiscal disparities with the use of state and federal resources within a public school system.
Among the tasks undertaken by school boards are decisions and policies regarding personnel, management of the school system, including budgetary considerations, decisions regarding pedagogical theory and practice to some extent, and the protection of students over time. school grounds; and advocacy for meeting student needs and meeting parents’ expectations. This is what I would work for if I was elected.
Too often, the waste in the school budget can be attributed to abstract and ill-defined expenses allocated to ill-defined administrative functions. Realizing this has enabled some districts to solve the problem. However, within our school district, we cannot be naive to continue adding administrative costs and more policing to budgets in the future. I do not believe that this direction is sustainable and healthy to move forward. I am in favor of having behavioral health staff, more nurses and social workers. As WEB Du Bois said, “Education shouldn’t just teach work, it should teach life. So we need to focus on students holistically.
In most cases, school boards are made up of people who are experienced career educators. So how has it been for parents over the past two decades? It is time to assess the perception that these are the most qualified people to decide the future of education in our community. I think there is one experience that is missing in some cases – that of parenting children in today’s school system. We currently have two of our children attending public schools and one at the Child Development Center.
Don’t forget to vote on November 2 for me. I will be the seventh on the ballot. You can count on me to put our children, our community and our future first when we are elected to the school board.
Zakaria Sharif is one of seven candidates vying for four vacant seats on the Erie School Board.