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Editor: While I’ve been involved with Democratic politics in Arlington, I’ve seen first-hand how incredibly important strong academics and access to equitable education can be for students.

Why do I support Miranda Turner for School Board? She believes students’ experiences, joys and academics should be the priority and focus of our schools. Our teachers are invaluable parts of our students’ lives, and they – not administrative overhead, more committees or consultants – should be prioritized in our budget.

This past year has shown the importance of in-person instruction for our children’s academic and emotional well-being. Both my middle-school-age kids are now attending on a hybrid schedule. Both are much happier on the days they attend in person.

However, there are disparities in who is choosing “hybrid” vs. “virtual” that correspond to demographic disparities across APS schools. Data shows increasing disparities educationally, as well. This is an equity issue.

Miranda Turner believes APS should clear its waitlists for in-person instruction as soon as possible. She also believes APS should:

• Plan to address learning loss from the pandemic now, and for as long as it takes.

• Leverage our experienced teachers’ expertise for small-group instruction, as needed, to those students who need extra help – especially special-education students who are currently receiving services “virtually.”

• Identify families with barriers to returning to in-person learning, and work to eliminate as many of those barriers as possible.

If elected, Turner will hold Arlington Public Schools accountable, ask hard questions and center students’ needs.

Karen Simpson, Arlington

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