Q&A APS Board District 7 Julie Brenning - Albuquerque Journal

Q&A APS Board District 7 Julie Brenning

Julie Brenning

Name: Julie Brenning

Political party: Non-partisan race

Age: 34

Education: Master’s degree in Asian studies, University of Utah, 2013; Bachelor of Science in political science, Brigham Young University, 2011

Occupation: Policy analyst since 2013

Family: Married to Kurt Brenning, three children

Relevant experience: I created a comprehensive evaluation system for 40 APS community schools. This new system will be implemented this year to vastly improve leadership and school practices. I also worked with APS as a community program specialist. I created a new high school curriculum for employment and education preparation.

Campaign website: www.JulieforNM.com

What’s the biggest issue APS faces? How would you address it?

Adverse childhood experiences (ACES) such as drug use, poverty and neglect in the home, are a barrier to the likelihood of academic success in Albuquerque. I will establish task forces that work with our community and APS leadership to implement policies that get to the root of the problems.

In your opinion, what is the primary role of a school board member?

According to New Mexico law, there are three roles of a school board member: 1. Create and set district policy, 2. Review and pass the APS budget and 3. Evaluate, hire and fire the superintendent. I commit to performing these duties with honesty, professionalism and transparency.

How would you evaluate the current school board’s performance?

I am honored to have the endorsements of Dr. Dave Peercy, current School Board president, and board members Barbara Petersen, Elizabeth Armijo and Yolanda Montoya-Cordova. They know what kind of skills and leadership are required for this position. I want to improve school board transparency and communication with our community.

What experience do you have overseeing a budget?

In my role in the Bernalillo County Commission, I managed the applications and allocation of taxpayer monies to local community and nonprofit organizations. As a policy analyst for the New Mexico State Legislature, I analyze bills that include large, complicated budgets. In my analysis, I include allocations, impact and costs.

Would you support a vaccine mandate for APS students who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine? Why or why not?

My top two priorities are keeping our students learning in the classroom and keeping them safe. I support science-based safety measures. I would strongly encourage, but not currently mandate, vaccines for students, teachers and staff. This is the best way to avoid COVID-19 outbreaks and keep our students learning in-person.

What’s your position on mask mandates at schools?

We need to keep our students safely learning in the classroom. Research shows students need in-person learning and the best way to do that is to slow the spread of COVID-19 outbreaks. I therefore support science-based safety measures such as masks, social distancing, ventilation and even outdoor classrooms.

Under what circumstances, if any, would you support a return to remote learning?

I support in-person learning if at all possible. However, the school board is under jurisdiction of the New Mexico Public Education Department. By law, the school board must obey the PED statutes. If the PED requires remote learning, I must by law, comply.

Do you think superintendent applications should be public?

Yes, superintendent applications should be public. I believe in full transparency of our hiring and firing of the superintendent. I commit to that and public participation in my joint decision-making. I will strive to gather all parties around the table as we work on solutions to the challenges we face.

How would you evaluate APS as a whole?

As a school board member, I will not be evaluating APS as a whole. I will, however, be evaluating our superintendent. The board should make these three characteristics central when evaluating our APS superintendent: 1. Dynamic leadership, 2. Decision-making based on best practices and 3. Anti-corruption measures.

What’s your stance on charter schools?

I support our current public charter schools. I think the bigger question is, why are there charter schools? And I believe the answer lies in barriers to innovation. I will strive to give principals and teachers the ability to be innovative, flexible and promote experiential learning in our APS schools.

APS has been sued numerous times for failing to release public records. What, if anything, would you do to ensure that the school district is adhering to state transparency laws, such as the Inspection of Public Records Act?

The IPRA specifies that each public body subject to the Act designates a “custodian” who receives and responds to requests. I would work with our board to develop a monthly public reporting process to the board by the custodian on the status of each request since the last board meeting.

Personal background

1. Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens?

No.

2. Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding?

No.

3. Have you ever been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of drunken driving, or any misdemeanor or felony?

No.


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