Hello, my name is Lisa Escárcega, I am running for the State Board of Education (SBoE), District 1. Growing up while experiencing poverty and foster care, I was fortunate to have teachers who were able to see me and provide the referrals and supports I needed. I went on to become the first in my family to receive a four-year degree, followed by a masters and doctorate. I am running for the SBoE to bring a strong, informed and unapologetic K-12 voice back to the board.
After three decades of work as a School Psychologist and educator, I know firsthand the importance of mental health and the positive outcomes that can happen when individuals and families have access to health care, stable housing and meaningful employment. I have been a strong proponent of school-based health centers and helped the first center come to the Aurora Public Schools. I have also supported the Community Schools model that incorporates a set of partnerships, including mental health, that leads to improved student learning, stronger families and healthier communities.
Our lack of funding for PK-12 public education is starving our schools and the same lack of investment has been occurring with our mental health system. We need to invest in early support and intervention, decriminalize mental health and work to correct the inequities that people with mental health issues face daily. I strongly value mental health and will bring this value to my work on the State Board of Education.