Support for Teacher and Education Support Professionals (ESPs)
Good Quality Public Schools
Charter Schools Accountability
Funding for Early Childhood Education and Dual-Language Immersion
As a beneficiary of early childhood education and the advantages of bilingualism, Nelly will advocate for increased funding of early childhood education—including through Head Start and other programs such as licensed family and center-based daycares, public schools and community-based organizations—as a way to address the school readiness gap for low-income students. In particular, she will push for expansion of dual-language immersion programs throughout the Montebello Unified School District, helping students maintain their culture and increase their future earning potential.
Recent studies have shown the devastating emotional impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on young people, many of whom were isolated from their communities for extended periods and lost loved ones to the disease.
As someone whose brother struggled with mental health as a teen, Nelly believes schools must provide a holistic approach to caring for children that includes their emotional well-being. She will advocate for investing in a range of wrap-around services that support students facing anxiety and depression—and recognizing those most at risk.
Green Space & Environmental Justice
Supporting All Paths to Post-Secondary Education
Nelly will push to expand support for students’ post-secondary plans, including gifted programs for advanced students with dual enrollment opportunities at community colleges; vocational job prep curriculum that emphasizes high-tech jobs for individuals that are interested in STEM careers; and union apprenticeship programs that enable working students to secure an income while they learn a well-paying trade.
On the Issues
What you care about!
Fully Funding IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)
As a child with cerebral palsy, Nelly had the opportunity to get the support she needed from Special Education. Because of supportive teachers who believed in her potential, she was mainstreamed into a regular class and learned with her peers.
Intensive after-school tutoring sessions and the support of her special education teacher made Nelly a stronger student. Without funding for programs like these, students fall through the cracks and do not receive the attention they need to be successful in school and beyond.
Nelly will push to ensure the federal government upholds its commitment to pay 40 percent of the average per student cost for every special education student. She will advocate, propose legislation, work with other lawmakers, and find additional resources that help fully fund IDEA.
Nelly and her siblings had the pleasure of attending local public schools. Public schools are the heart of our community. Nelly believe we need to make sure that every student in the Montebello Unified School District (MUSD) attends a good-quality public school. There's no need for our kids to attend schools that lack unhealthy infrastructure (like rats, no air conditioners, etc..) This is unacceptable and unhealthy for students, teachers, school employees, and the community.
Nelly believes in a community school model - they have a proven method of school improvement that includes wrap-around services for students and puts the importance on the quality of teaching at the forefront. This is what a good-quality public school should be.
Small class sizes improve the learning outcomes for all students and are a proven method to reduce the achievement gap for kids of all levels and abilities.
Nelly will push for reforms that enable smaller class sizes and allow teachers to provide more dedicated attention to individual students.
Nelly believes that charter schools need to be held accountable. She believes that all schools that receive public funds should be held to the same excellence, equity, and transparency standards as public schools. Education is a public good and should not be aligned with for-profit entities and motives. Nelly believes that there is no room for for-profit private charter businesses in our school systems to receive any public funding. This allows discrimination to occur within our communities against students with disabilities and special needs and students of color.
Additionally, she is against co-location in the Montebello Unified School District and believes charter schools should meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirement to provide accommodations for students with disabilities in their schools - at this time, this is not happening. Nelly follows and believes in the NEA’s approach to Charter School Accountability- read more here.
As a legislative manager for the State Council on Developmental Disabilities, Nelly pushed for legislation that required the Superintendent of Schools to mandate dyslexia training and screening for teachers. As someone with dyslexia, Nelly understands the importance of dyslexia screening to ensure that children with this unseen disability do not fall behind—and the importance of equipping educators and ESPs with the tools they need to do their jobs, including more resources in the classroom, extended-time pay, and facilities with more modern technology to effectively teach students of all abilities.
Special Education Funding
Reimaiging School Safety
According to a 2019 ACLU study, 1.7 million students have cops in their schools but no counselors; 3 million have cops but no nurses; 6 million have cops, but no school psychologists and 10 million have cops but no social workers. Having experienced such an educational environment, Nelly understands that criminalizing childhood challenges leads to fear, isolation, and—too often—targeting policing students of color.
Nelly will push for investment in teachers, counselors, social workers, and nurses who can build a holistic community environment within schools, positively addressing the mental health and socio-economic roots of students’ challenges and creating a healthier school environment grounded in the principles of restorative justice.
Nelly believes that Montebello Unified School District must address the infrastructure needs of every school, including removing lead from drinking water and installing air conditioners in every school is a must, understanding that these issues are fundamentally about providing a clean, healthy school environment. She also believes in the importance of green space equity and will push for communal spaces such as community gardens and green shaded areas on playgrounds to accommodate disabled student accessibility.
Support for Student Mental Health
Nelly believes that maintaining high-quality school facilities sends children a message that their futures are worth investing in. All students deserve up-to-date classrooms and infrastructure that foster a safe, healthy and productive learning environment, and that’s why Nelly will continue to advocate for upgrades to buildings and facilities that enrich children’s education and better prepare them for the careers of tomorrow.