Larry Sauer, New York, 1996
Born January 17, 1953
School Board, District 3
New York, New York
15,000 children in District 3
Elected May 1996
School Board President July 1996 – June 1997
Interview with Larry Sauer for Out and Elected in the USA
Q: What do you do in your role as school board member when you make in-school visits?
A: With my ability to listen and to build on all of the information I’ve gained over the years I’ve learned to visit schools with a very sharp eye as to if it’s just PR or reality I’m observing about how things are improving. I ask very succinct questions about things like the number of guidance counselors and I’ve actually caused an increase in guidance counselors, which allows our small schools to have a whole guidance counselor rather than sharing one – which certainly serves children in a much more complete way. I’ve been able to advocate for librarians in our small schools where they were not originally funded for them. I’ve been able to advocate for deepening of curriculum after listening to parents as to why they choose certain of our schools during middle school choice, and help schools that are not getting as much interest as they would like to add things – like two schools that will be adding Spanish, adding foreign language, which will help increase a wider range of students choosing that in our choice process. I like to be sure that the work the superintendent plans to do and works hard to implement is successful in reaching the classroom – turn-keyed by the school leaders so that better educational practices are actually in the classroom. I think I’ve learned enough to really challenge school leaders to be better and provide more. Because of my questioning, all children that are retained need to be monitored the following year for their success. I want to ensure their needs are being met so that they will improve and to ensure that they are successful – so that attention is brought to the neediest children so that they’re not written off as hard learners, “so why make the effort.” I believe that our efforts need to go the neediest – not at the expense of the less needy, but still, we need to pay attention to the neediest.