Saturday is election day, and two candidates, hotel accounting manager Eric Cowan and insurance agent Louis Trujillo, are vying for the school board seat that represents Oak Cliff. A third candidate, Olegario Estrada, dropped out of the race, but his name is still on the ballot.

We asked each candidate the same five questions. Check out some of their answers after the jump, and we’ll post more later this week.


What are the most important problems at DISD right now, and how would you work on them?
Louis Trujillo:

As stated in (another answer), the budget crisis is probably the greatest area of concern because without proper budgeting one can’t run a household, business, let alone a huge institution as that of DISD.  Focusing on the goal of ensuring that every child of DISD receives an adequate education and keeping their best interest in mind is key when making any decision.

Eric Cowan:

1. Poor graduation rates — I will investigate and work with the Administration to identify systemic problems that can be addressed to improve graduation rates. However, we need innovative ways to reach children and their passions so we can help them feel inspired to finish high school and consider college. For example, the summer Hispanic Youth Forum at SMU targets high schoolers with GPAs of 2.0-2.5. Their college success attendance rate is over 80%! We need more of that type of mentoring. Another good example would be to ramp up our vocational technical programs to educate and inspire kids about green technology.

2. Poor parent/guardian involvement — I will seek more parent universities at schools to help educate our parents about what they should expect and do to help their kids succeed in school. If parents are not involved throughout high school, kids will be left behind.

3. Lack of communication between Ross Avenue and constituents — I will hold meetings regularly with PTAs and interested parties to address issues, successes and failures impacting DISD.