4 for 4: Getting to know Spokane Public School Board candidate Kevin Morrison

4 for 4: Getting to know Spokane Public School Board candidate Kevin Morrison
Kevin Morrison is a candidate for Spokane Public Schools' Board of Directors. 

Kevin Morrison is a candidate for Spokane Public Schools’ Board of Directors Position No. 4. He has worked in the district for many years, serving as a Capital Projects Specialist, Safety Specialist, Director of Communications and Community Relations, as well as Interim Director of Campus Safety, Transportation and Risk Management.

Morrison graduated from Shadle Park High School and Eastern Washington University.

Morrison answered the following four questions for 4 News Now.

What is the biggest issue the district is currently dealing with? What’s your solution?

The largest challenges facing Spokane Public Schools are related to budget. The “McLeary Fix” did help the 295 districts in the state in that funding to meet what it deemed basic education was met. It did not include services (some that are mandated by state and federal laws) that the vast majority of citizens in the state would consider essential to providing the supports many of our students may need, including nursing, mental health, and more robust special education funding.

What is the biggest safety gap in Spokane Public Schools? Do you think school resource officers should be armed?

The recent comprehensive safety audit made it clear that whereas Spokane Public Schools is doing many things right, and more than the majority of districts in the nation in terms of student and staff safety and security, it does call out the need for more consistent, accountable, research-proven training of staff and students.

The question of whether armed security should be in our schools is complex and will require further analysis and evaluation by our community and school board. I do not believe it is the function of any school district employee to carry a firearm. That said, I am not opposed to discussions that may include a contracted number of SPD officers whose assignments are primarily school related. Such a solution would need to be carefully studied, vetted by the community, and paid for with a supplemental funding levy in the future.

What do you foresee as the biggest challenges the community will face with upcoming boundary changes? How will the school board mitigate families’ concerns?

Having served on one of the committees that led up to this point in relation to the boundary changes (grade configuration committee)- I know that the district has made this a slow and deliberate process to ensure that our community has significant input into these changes.

The challenge is ensuring that any “grandfathering” provisions are well defined and enforced and that families looking for new homes are made aware of the changes that will be occurring.

How do you define student success?

Student success to me is measured by progress made on a daily, weekly, monthly or annual basis in a complex combination of social, emotional, physical and academic growth. Meeting the student where they are at this moment and ensuring that they have the means to meet that goal.