I am Cody Nielson, a life-long resident of San Juan County. I am married to Monica Lyman Nielson, and we have four kids, three of which are in school.
My mother is Dina Cahoon, who is in her final year of teaching at Blanding Elementary after a 28-year career.
School seems to be the center of our lives. This ranges from interactions with teachers, to homework, test scores, and the curriculum of each subject.
I found myself wanting to know the mechanics of my children’s education, so I joined the Blanding Elementary School Community Council. After being on the SCC for the past two years and chairman the last year, I found myself aware of some concerning trends.
I decided to run for the school board so I can do something about these trends and improve the education of our children. I am invested in this community; it’s time to demand more from our decision makers. I will not make decisions without the due diligence necessary to explore all sides of every issue.
Recognizing that our children are our most precious resource and their education is of the utmost importance, I will:
• First and foremost, listen to and represent the people in my district.
• Not vote to raise the property tax rate.
• Ensure that we hire administrators/principals that are committed to and invested in our community.
• Pursue a budget that is revenue neutral.
• Listen to and be a support for the front line staff that are in direct daily contact with our children, i.e. teachers, coaches, school administrators.
• Work with the other board members to eliminate waste and allocate monetary resources in the areas that improve learning.
Statistics for San Juan County:
From 2006 to 2011 there has been a 40% increase in property taxes collected by the San Juan School District (www.sjsd.org)
San Juan School District has one of the highest administrative costs per student in the State of Utah. (www.utahsright.com) and (www.utahtaxpayers.org)
Four out of the six elementary schools rank in the bottom 10% of all Utah schools. (www.schooldigger.com)
Funding per student is 40% greater than the state average. Despite higher pupil funding, we have below average scores. (www.utaheducationfacts.org)
I would appreciate your vote.