Q & A with District 1 School Board candidate John Taratino

Compiled by Briana Aguilar
NCCU Staff Writer
the Durham VOICE

Due to an editing error, the Q & A with District 1 Durham School Board candidate John Tarantino was not included in the original VOICE story posted April 15. The latest print version of the VOICE, however, contains the full Q & A with candidates Tarantino, Omega Curtis Parker and Donald Hughes. The VOICE regrets the error.

Durham School Board District 1 candidate John Tarantino.

What are some of the ideas that you plan to implement if elected to the Durham Public School Board?

Tarantino: I would attempt to listen to parents and teachers and then also share my expertise and experience.

What programs would you implement that would reach out to the Latino community?

Tarantino: I do not view language as a barrier. Being somewhat bilingual, I view I as a bridge. Programs are already in place addressing learning the English language as a second language.

With so many cutbacks, how do you plan to budget some of your ideas?

Tarantino: Well, first I find it particularly revealing that we now have a board that seems to think that we can make it through a school year with a lot less money on the table than we have had to work with in past years. Where were the shepherds the tax payers deserved when the coffers were full and even over flowing? My ideas and attitudes are founded upon fiscal discipline I would propse is not new and did not originate with me. These involve using the best practices that are known , tried and true. The degree of influence I would have depends in large part on the give and take with the other board members. Time will tell.

District 1 has been known for high crime rates. How do you plan to keep children in school and out of gang activity?

Tarantino: NECD is what it is…the board has a role to shape police…it is not law enforcement. Having said that, mentoring and increased parental involvement are a couple of key factors to intervention.

What are your plans for the high number of homeless children in District 1?

Tarantino: I see a lot of empty homes that would make very adequate shelter in NECD as you called it. It was brought to my attention, for example, by the mother of one of the school board candidates, of a sweetheart of a deal she invested in which involved purchasing a small home at next to nothing, and then sprucing it up and making a tidy profit. The cost to move in is extremely reasonable.
Start there.

How do you plan to keep the dialogue open between the board members and the community?

Tarantino: I like the idea the city council uses where they meet citizens from time to time for public coffee.

Will you do anything besides serve on the board?

Tarantino: No, not at this time. I intend to devote all my energy to the children of our county.