“A quality education begins before a child even enters school, creating a path that allows all of our youth to reach their full potential. It is our job as a community to partner with parents, teachers and students themselves to offer the best education we can. Providing teachers with the resources to teach and parents the tools to support their children is a winning formula for academic achievement.”
Ash Kalra has earned the endorsement of the California Federation of Teachers, the California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and many locally elected members of school district boards.
From a young age, Ash’s parents instilled in him the value of a quality education. With the guidance of his parents and his passion for learning, Ash attended our local public schools, ultimately graduating from Oak Grove High School. Ash is proud that he is the first Oak Grove Eagle ever to serve on the San Jose City Council. He went on to spend two years at De Anza Community College before moving on and graduating from UC Santa Barbara. Deciding to pursue a career in law, he earned his degree from the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC at the age of 24.
Ash has first-hand experience with the education system. While in Washington, DC, he taught for two-years in inner-city high schools, including a class on jurisprudence called “Street Law.” When Ash returned to San Jose to serve the community as a Deputy Public Defender, he subsequently started teaching at Lincoln Law School of San Jose, where he is still a member of the faculty. Ash has also been an instructor at San Jose State University. It is the experience of going through all levels of our public school system combined with a variety of teaching experiences that have helped to form Ash’s passion for education and desire to improve our local schools.
Ash has been an active supporter of our local schools and their programs throughout his time on the City Council, including:
- Supporting Measure K, Oak Grove School District’s successful ballot measure – Ash was the only City Council Member listed in the voter guide
- Helping to promote local fundraising efforts for elementary and high school programs, including science camps, bands and a robotics team
- Working to promote pedestrian safety for school children by being a strong supporter of, and participant in, local walk-to-school initiatives
- Making himself available as a frequent speaker at local schools on a wide range of topics, helping to inspire local students to consider careers in public service
From publicly supporting preschool to mentoring youth in a number of capacities, Ash understands that education experiences go beyond the K-12 classroom. Ash Kalra has an unparalleled commitment to our youth and our families that he has demonstrated consistently throughout his career in public service by:
- Serving on the inaugural Board of Directors of Fresh Lifelines for Youth, a non-profit dedicated to providing a supportive environment, mentorship and education to youth who have gotten in trouble with the law or are struggling to stay on a positive path
- Volunteering as a Big Brother and for Volunteers in Parole, a program for those exiting juvenile probation
- Coaching and mentoring for high school moot court competitions, drawing from his own experience of being part of the Legal Eagles mock trial club at Oak Grove High School
- Supporting programs that help prepare children for school, including First Five programs to teach new parents how to nurture their children and prepare them for a successful academic careers
San Jose schools are in need of help. We need stronger programs, better resources and a community that works together to improve the state of education. Ash Kalra will work with schools, parents, local businesses and organizations and build a coalition to ensure our students have a great education that sets them up for success in their future.
- Fully funded universal pre-kindergarten for all Californian children in order to ensure that they are prepared for their academic career
- Allowing teachers to have continuous professional development opportunities throughout their career, particularly as it applies to opportunities to use technology to enhance the classroom experience
- Creating incentives for a new generation of teachers to help inspire our youth and ensure we can keep classroom sizes down
- Increasing the amount of slots for California residents at our UC’s and CSU’s, rather than reserving an inordinate number of slots for out-of-state students
- Ensuring our community colleges have adequate funding so students can matriculate in an efficient manner and transfer to the university of their choice
- An increased investment in the sciences in K-12 as well as institutions of higher education. Although it takes a greater investment, the resources we invest into STEM instruction will allow us to prepare our students for jobs in our innovation economy and allow us to compete on a global scale.
- A virtual University of California campus to highlight the limitless possibilities of how we teach and learn here in Silicon Valley – the cradle of innovation
- Reducing the number of managers and administrators in our university system and reprioritizing that spending into classroom instruction
- Encouraging bi-lingual immersion programs to prepare our students for an international economy and help to create cultural competence at a young age
- Increasing the number of social workers at schools who can leave campus to help students struggling with attendance
- Adding vocational training in high schools and at the community colleges to train our students for quality blue and green collar jobs
- Providing access to free community college for San Jose residents looking to transfer to a University or for advanced career training