Mike McDonald is used to tackling big problems. First, as a
linebacker for the Los Angeles Rams, and, for the past eight years,
as a school board member.
“I think when you’re first elected, you almost feel like you don’t
know what you’re doing that first year. You have to get used to the
educational lingo. As you go to your California School Board Assn.
conferences, you become more attuned to your responsibilities,”
When McDonald made the decision to run again, he said he did so
because he believes he still has something to offer the district, and
specifically, the children.
If elected to a third term, McDonald wants to see the completion
of the school renovation projects, as well as a continuation of this
work. Many of the schools’ interiors need refurbishing, he said.
“We also need to refurbish our fields and tracks, not just for the
students, but for the community,” McDonald said.
Forced to shave $3 million off this year’s budget, the board was
faced with some difficult decisions that did not please teachers or
Defending those decisions, McDonald said, “We’re elected to make
hard decisions. Sometimes they’re not agreeable to people.”
The actions the board took were based on information from the
district staff, McDonald said. It is the staff’s responsibility to
bring information to the board, McDonald said, adding that if the
information is not reliable, staff must be held accountable.
“We set policy based on that information,” McDonald said. “I don’t
know how anyone can be a board member without relying on staff. We’re
not elected to do the day-to-day running [of the district].”