Frank M. Lima, TUSD Trustee Candidate
Due to the State of California budget issues, what potential cuts do you envision TUSD dealing with and how? What would be your priorities to protect the most during budget cuts if they are needed?
Because state tax revenue appears to have fallen short of revenue projections made with the last approved state budget, budget analysts expect further and significant cuts to education next year. As TUSD has done in the past, I hope we can keep the cuts as far away from the classroom as possible. This year TUSD relied on its reserve and even gave back to the employees about 1/2 of the concessions to salary and benefits made in prior years. TUSD will need to work again with all of its employees to find a solution to any budget crisis imposed on TUSD by the state.
What is TUSD and/or what is it about?
TUSD serves over 13,000 kindergarten through 12th grade students from all walks of life, and offers adult school to the community at large. A sound public education for all children, free of charge, is core to our democratic system and the economic growth of our community. TUSD needs to provide the best possible education to our youth so that they may become productive, law abiding, and tax paying citizens. Good schools make for a good community, and we need to insist on the best for our students.
What do you feel the duties of a TUSD Board Member are?
A board member is the liaison between the community and our public schools. Board members are accountable to the public, set policy and direction for our schools, approve the annual budget and are responsible for the superintendent who is in charge and accountable for all employees and all academic and extra-curricular activities offered in the district.
What made you decide to run for a TUSD Board of Trustees position this election?
The primary reason I sought re-election to the TUSD Board of Trustees is to continue to give back to our community by working to maintain the fiscal integrity of our school district while at the same time promoting student achievement. I expect our district to continue to maintain appropriate budget reserves while at the same time continuing to improve our instruction and academic achievement. Good schools make for a good community. I want to ensure that our school district demands high educational standards, offers strong vocational and extracurricular programs, and provides facilities that are commensurate with the quality of our community.
As a school district, we must demand an efficient, coordinated and comprehensive approach to educating our youth. We must recognize the effort and commitment of all employees serving our schools and our children, and demand that we continue to focus on the common goal of educating our youth in a safe and healthy school environment. We must demand and collaborate with our parents so our children come to school prepared to learn. We must engage our community, including the City of Turlock and CSU Stanislaus, for support and collaboration. We have a great community. We have no excuse to not have great public schools.
List Top 5 biographical highlights:
Married and father to 3 children. I am a product of Turlock schools. I worked my way through college, averaged approximately 30 hours a week of work during my first year and still graduated in four years with honors from U.C. Davis. Received merit scholarship to study in Portugal as an undergraduate, and received a Rotary Foundation scholarship as a graduate student to study in Brazil. Received a law degree from UCLA, one of the top law schools in the country.
List Top 3 priorities if elected:
To remain accountable and responsive to the community, remain committed to my convictions, and hold myself, and all individuals who serve our children in our public schools, to the highest standard of conduct and integrity.
What do you feel you have to offer that some of the other candidates may not?
Born and raised in Turlock and a child of immigrant parents, I remain committed and personally indebted to our public educational system. I am a product of Turlock public schools and a public university education. I worked and paid my way through college. I studied in foreign countries, and through this experience, I realize the good fortune and privileges we have with our public schools. No matter how good or bad we judge our public schools, we have the opportunity and obligation to make our schools better. We must hold ourselves and our schools to the highest of standards, we cannot make excuses for our failures, and although we should enjoy and recognize our successes, we must always strive to make our schools and the educational opportunities for our students better.
How would you contribute to the current TUSD Board of Trustees and would you fulfill anything missing on the current TUSD Board of Trustees?
I have served on the elementary and unified TUSD Board for 10 years. It is good to have new members and new energy on the Board, but it is also good to have experience. I offer experience. I am able to set aside any personal agenda and always try to act and address issues in a manner that hopefully is always in the best interest of our students.
What issues do you feel need to be addressed more than they already are? Are there any problems or is there anything that you feel needs to be fixed/changed concerning TUSD?
As a district, TUSD needs to find ways of engaging our parents and our community to completely "buy into" our schools. We need a total "buy in" to maximize our potential for total achievement. As parents and as a community, we need to take responsibility for our youth and make sure each child comes to school well fed and ready to learn. We need to support the teachers, school administrators and staff and recognize the commitment they make every day for our youth, and they, in turn, need to recognize the unique qualities of each student, and that each student and their parents or guardians are customers or clients of the school that deserve the best possible service.
Position papers (specific views on specific topics) or candidate statements (equal to an intro at a debate or a short speech of what you’ like to communicate without being edited):
I would like to be endorsed by every registered voter when they complete their ballot, whether by absentee or on election day. I have not sought the endorsement of any party, group or union. A school board trustee is a non-partisan position, and every board member has a duty of loyalty and care to all students and employees in the district.
Complete Bio (Please include contact information for the voters to reach you by):
Frank M. Lima
P.O. Box 1825
Turlock, CA 95381
Married to Sara J. Lima since 1990; three children, ages 16, 13, and 9, who attend high school, middle school and elementary school, respectively, in the TUSD.
University of California, Los Angeles, Juris Doctor degree awarded 1990;
University of California, Davis, Bachelor of Science degree awarded with honors in Agricultural and Managerial Economics, 1986;
University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Rotary Foundation Scholar, 1987-1988;
University of Lisbon, Portugal, Portuguese Language and Culture, Summer 1984
Turlock High School, diploma awarded 1982
Brown Junior High School, grades 6-8
Julien School, grades 3-5
Crane School, grades k-2