06/15/2024

Nancy Swart - D26

D26 Candidate Swart details problems and solutions

My name is Nancy Swart and I am a candidate for Elementary School Board District 26. My husband and I married 44 years ago and moved to Cary 31 years ago. Our three grown children graduated from D26 and High School D155. We have two wonderful grandchildren.

Two years ago, sitting in a back yard. I listened to young parents discuss what was happening with remote learning during the pandemic school closings. This included blatant indoctrination of their children. It became quickly obvious that D26 was not the same district that my children grew up in. These parents were looking for a way to protect their children.

In January of 2022, several women and I began a home school group. This gave these mothers immediate relief from the stress brought on by D26 school board decisions. While this was a solution for some families, there are still hundred of those whose only option is public education.

As a (grand)parent we are called upon to protect our (grand)children. I began to feel an urgency to do more.

That is why, last summer, the obvious answer was to run for School Board in D26. My background is that of a special education teacher teaching both in elementary and high school. I served as vice president of the PTO while my children were in elementary school, and president when they advanced to junior high. I was a very hands-on parent, volunteering in the classroom and as room parent.

In the years since my children graduated, I have ran more than five small businesses, served on several for-profit, and not-for-profit boards, held leadership roles both inside of the business world and in my personal life.

What are some of the issues that are of concern?

A child’s first teachers are their parents. When a child is unable to come to that parents for help with their homework it creates a barrier between that parent and their child. Schools should never create a wedge between parent and child but instead foster more parental involvement:

1) Communication and transparency is key to fostering trust. The introduction of Panorama (SEL), Social Emotional Learning, which I consider an invasion of privacy, inhibits communication and transparency. If it is good for a child, then why would the parent(s) be kept in the dark?

2) The social issues that have been introduced into the classroom setting are wholly inappropriate. Sex education has a place but the sexualization of our children does not, just as the introduction of the LGBTQ agenda is also inappropriate. These are subjects which should be discussed in the family home. While the school may offer support, it is NOT the parent. Introducing concepts to children before they are emotionally or mentally ready is not education but indoctrination and destructively evil.

CRT, Critical Race Theory, although this is not what it is being called at present, but the information is the same, is another inappropriate social item being forced upon our children. Racism has no place in our public schools. CRT is divisive and does not foster unity.

3) In September 2022, the present D26 school board decided to raise home owners taxes 5%. In this volatile economic time, was it wise to add to the burden of the home owners in their district? The district received ESSER (COVID) funds but still they raised taxes. The board has said the district will be debt free in 2025 so why would there be a need to raise taxes now?

4) Academic excellence? The D26 Report Card says we are failing in reading, writing and math. While this was true before the school closures, it has only fallen further. The latest report card shows that 64% of D26 students do not read or write at grade level. Additionally, 75% of D26 students perform BELOW grade level in math. What has changed over the last 20 years?

Some of my goals include:

1) The schools are primarily funded (60-80%) by homeowner’s taxes. I want to see what can be done to lower our taxes here in the district. With teachers, bus drivers and students leaving the district, overhead should be less, right? I would like to see more funds going to the classrooms versus enlarging the administrative staff.

2) Spending money on social programs that have not been vetted, or have a negative outcome, is not a wise investment. Let’s invest the funds in better curriculum.

3) According to the districts own report card, our children are failing reading, writing and math. We need to get back to the basics. Critical thinking skills need to be taught and are a must for a child to succeed in today’s environment. There are black and white, right and wrong issues that are critical in a child’s life. If they do not have this solid foundation then they are standing in quicksand.

4) I want to take a closer look at what types of curriculum are being used and taught. This is where we start to build that solid foundation for our children. Let us, together, raise the scores on the districts report card. Parents, teachers, administrators and, yes, the board, working together to KEEP OUR CHILDREN FIRST.

Should administrators and teachers be held accountable for our children’s failing scores? Perhaps we should tie their salaries to the school’s report cards.

Let me know your thoughts: nancy4d26@gmail.com. My heart is to see every child overcome their obstacles and succeed in life. As a former teacher and D26 parent I can empathize with the challenges of the family dynamics of raising children. Finding balance can be difficult.

I have a firm foundation on which I stand. I am not swayed by every wind of doctrine that presents itself. I have knowledge and wisdom gleaned from a lifetime of experience. I will be truthful with you, the parents. I believe honesty is important in any relationship. I would appreciate the opportunity to show, you the voter, transparency in my time on the board. If you live in D26 I ask for your vote on April, 4. Thank you.

Visit www.nancy4d26.com to learn more and support Nancy Swart for D26 School Board.