Robin S. Rowe, The Beverly Hills Weekly Interview

Robin S. Rowe

Robin S. Rowe discusses his campaign for Beverly Hills Unified School District (BHUSD)

BEVERLY HILLS, CA (RobinSRowe.com) 2020/8/13 – The Beverly Hills Weekly newspaper asks a few questions of first-time BHUSD School Board candidate Robin S. Rowe.

What do you see as the top three issues the BHUSD is facing at this time?

The top three BHUSD issues are just one issue, the well-being of the Children in its care. Some remember when Families moved here because Beverly Hills had the Best Public Schools. Beverly Hills Public Schools should be the best in the world. Together we will make it so again.

What is your position on the current plan for remote learning in the fall semester?

The BHUSD plan is more of a work in progress. BHUSD reacting to State and County requirements.

How do you evaluate the job the BHUSD Superintendent is doing?

When the Superintendent was appointed in 2017, he said that BHUSD finances and student growth would be his focus. Three years later, can anyone say the problems of BHUSD deficits and declining enrollment have been solved?

Of course, the elephant in the room is the ongoing lawsuit against BHUSD over their use of school funds. Reading about that in the news was what prompted me to consider running for School Board. The accusations described in the lawsuit are disturbing. Unable to get the case dismissed, BHUSD has been fighting it for more than a year. Some say maybe they’re stalling, trying to delay the verdict until after the election.

A year later, what is your opinion of reconfiguration?

Reconfiguration, that is, rearranging which school buildings hold which students, was necessary because our schools have been in decline, are getting smaller. As I listen to Beverly Hills parents, they don’t say BHUSD has solved its underlying problems. Parents are still choosing Expensive Private Schools because our Public Schools fall short.

Voters just approved Measure BH in 2016. Do you support a new bond measure?

I voted for Measure BH. Being elected to the School Board is a way to ensure that BHUSD funds aren’t misspent.

BHUSD enrollment continues to decline and is now below 3,500. How do you plan to address this?

With an annual budget of over $20,000 per student, BHUSD has the best-funded Public Schools. Yet, half of Beverly Hills Parents are sending their children to Expensive Private Schools instead. Why?

Our BHUSD per-student budget is 2 and 1/2 times what the LAUSD budget has available to spend on each of their students. We have as much or more money as Private Schools. Our BHUSD per-student budget is somewhat higher than the average tuition cost for Private Schools across California. That our schools are not better seems to show we haven’t been spending our money wisely.

In the event LA County allows it, what do you envision in-person learning looking like?

Let’s not speculate on what the County or State may require future learning be like. They will let us know. We should be listening to Parents, Teachers, Staff and Students. Help the County and State come up with better options.

We need to prepare our Children for a Post-COVID World. If we listen to the Bureau of Labor, future growth in high-paying jobs is in just two fields: computer science and healthcare. I taught computer science at the University of Washington and the Naval Postgraduate School. I led the team that won the Novartis Biome healthcare innovation prize for AI last year.

What is your opinion of the current board?

My opinion of people in general is that everyone is trying their best, yet some people’s best is much better than others. The Judgment of the Court will be the opinion of the prior board that matters.

On November 3rd the opinion that truly matters is that of the Voters. How do the Candidates stack up?

Four of the BHUSD candidates lack the tech savvy or commitment to have put up a web page before filing to run for office. An actuary, an attorney, a construction manager and a psychologist.

There’s a candidate who lists as his qualification that he’s 19 years old and a recent graduate of BHHS. At least he has a website.

There’s the incumbent, an establishment candidate who says his value are his close relationships with other politicians and his success at extracting $500 million from taxpayers. His website displays a gallery of local establishment bureaucrats helping him raise money to buy the election. Politicians he owes more loyalty to than his voters.

I’m Robin S. Rowe. I understand what students need to do to prepare for college and their future. I’m an educator. Taught computer science at two universities, the University of Washington and the Naval Postgraduate School. I’ve been a guest speaker at schools in Los Angeles South Central and Beverly Hills, encouraging children to pursue Science and Finance.

BHUSD continues to spend over $2 million a year on litigation, which is higher than any comparatively-sized district. How do you plan to address this?

BHUSD has spent millions upon millions launching losing lawsuits. Hope we can all agree to stop doing that. Whether BHUSD took $16 million from building funds to spend on frivolous lawsuits and trips to Washington in a failed attempt to score themselves political points is what’s being determined by the Court.

In a sentence or two, tell us why you’re running for the Board of Education?

I’m Robin S. Rowe, the candidate with a higher mission. Let’s make Beverly Hills Public Schools Great Again.

To prevent conflicts of interest, I don’t accept Donations and don’t seek Endorsements. My website is at RobinSRowe.com.

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