Written by Michael Palomba
Matt Wheeler is running for Encinitas Union School Board as the endorsed candidate of the Republican Party of San Diego County. His other endorsements include EUSD Board Trustee Leslie Schneider, SDUHSD Vice President and Board Trustee Mo Muir, and former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio. As a graduate of UC San Diego, a father of two, and a financial advisor with two decades of experience, Matt is an excellent candidate.
Wheeler is also a strong proponent for opening schools for full in-person learning. He says that “every family should at least have the option for their children to be physically present in school five days a week, immediately.” However, he acknowledges that some families may be uncomfortable with in-person learning or have special health situations, so he also believes that distancing learning should be an option for those who want or need it.
“There is already evidence of negative educational and social impacts from children not being physically present in school. At the same time, it is well understood how relatively low the risk is for young children to have severe outcomes from coronavirus or infect others, especially when all the proper precautions are taken.”
Wheeler strongly believes in community input. He says that, in its current state, the school board has been generally inaccessible and unwelcoming of parental input. Matt is determined to change this because he believes that the role of the school board is to represent and be the voice of the community. “You can’t do that without listening,” he explained.
If elected, Matt has committed to being open and accessible to parents and to encourage their participation. He would like for live-streamed meetings be recorded so that parents who can’t make it to the stream can still participate and remain informed. Additionally, he believes that live-streamed meetings with remote participation need to remain available even after the pandemic has subsided.
There has been a recent push by the State of California to introduce controversial, adult political topics like the “1619 Project” and ethnic studies into our school systems. Wheeler is against the politicization of the curriculum for young children.
Lastly, Matt believes that a firm commitment to fiscal responsibility is needed to help our children. The pandemic has already caused significant developmental setbacks for children throughout the district. Wheeler says we need to take a careful look at spending and “ensure that every dollar the district receives is prioritized for students and learning loss mitigation.”