Policy Objectives

Balance the budget

As a certified and actively working accountant, I am best suited for tackling the budget issues in the Newton School system which have persisted for several years now. If I was to be given access to the financial statements of the Newton Schools for review, I am sure that I would be able to locate and eliminate sources of extraneous expenditure just as I do for my clients every day. I am not arguing for total austerity in the pay that Newton staff receive, on the contrary I believe that teachers should be compensated adequately for the work that they put in. Furthermore, to ensure that students in Newton receive the very best education possible, a healthy teacher-student ratio must be maintained, making any cuts to their pay counterintuitive. The salaries offered to educators within Newton must remain competitive to assure that year after year, no student is abandoned along the road to adulthood.

Alleviate the stress felt by students

If you ask any student currently attending a Newton High School, they will tell you that the daily stress they have to cope with is both extraordinary and untenable. Between a culture pushing students to expect high levels of achievement and the high quantities of work assigned by teachers daily, students going through high school in Newton experience a high level of stress, a well known contributor to depression. Just five years ago there were three teenage suicides, and since then no large scale overhaul has occurred to address the root causes of depression in students. I believe one of the most impactful yet often overlooked contributors to student stress is the early start of school time. In combination with the late nights prerequisite to accomplishing the daily tasks assigned to them, students are also forced to wake up at exceedingly early hours to get ready for school and catch the bus to make their 7:40 first class. If instead the beginning of school was to be pushed back by an hour, I don’t think the boost this would provide to student mental health could be understated.  If I was to be elected a member of the Newton School committee I would fight tirelessly for any measure which could ease the hardships students undergo at such a formative and pivotal age.

Eliminate anti-Semitism from Newton school curricula

The curriculum offered at Newton High Schools has been troublingly agenda driven, with the ultimate intent of instilling an anti-Israel stance into the student body. This has been accomplished using techniques such as portraying both sides of the conflict in the region as equally legitimate in tactics and existence, framing the discussion in a manner which intrinsically elevates the status of Palestine while lowering that of Israel. In the past, such claims have been met with the defense that examining the viewpoints of both sides of a conflict is integral towards fostering a proper understanding of the situation, however such flawed reasoning falls into the misconception that regardless of the hateful nature of the opposition, its views must still be humored for the sake of intellectual “equality.” It is the fact that the Arab-Israeli conflict is the only one to be scrutinized in such a manner that evokes such a powerful effect upon students learning about it for the first time. At no other point in their curriculum are they told to seriously consider the merits inherent in the ravings of Nazis or the defenses of slaveholders.  By presenting the situation in Israel under such a unique lens of examination, it is not surprising that students every year grow to believe that Israel is doing wrong by defending themselves against terrorists.  Furthermore, I wish to stop all representation given to the BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement in schools. It is not the place of a public curriculum to give voice to radical political groups, especially those with the intent to weaken the most democratic state in the Middle East. As someone who personally experienced anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union, and emigrated to Israel because of it, I do not intend to sit idly by as generations of youth are once more indoctrinated into hating Israel.