Putting My Experience to Work
Donald Donaire believes every student and their families in Stockton deserve safe schools to learn rigorous, high-quality curriculum. As trustee, Donald hopes to support our present and future leaders of Stockton Unified School District to excel in higher education, the workforce, and being civically engaged in their community.
They are currently a nonprofit program coordinator for the grassroots organization called Empowering Marginalized Asian Communities, also known as EMAC, which focuses on immigration advocacy, local civic engagement, and youth development programming.
Donald was born to immigrant parents from the Philippines, but calls Stockton their hometown. They graduated from Ronald E. McNair High School in Lodi Unified School District. As a first generation college student at the University of California in San Diego, Donald read Dr. Dawn Mabalon’s Little Manila is in the Heart and was inspired to return to Stockton to build capacity for advocacy with local youth and community members to right the wrongs of the city’s historical inequities.
They have worked as a community educator for the Little Manila After School Program, an advocate for education equity within the Stockton Schools Initiative, and as a youth program coordinator for EMAC’s Southeast Asian Youth Power Leadership Program and COVID-19 youth outreach and education initiative. Donald has also been part of the inaugural cohorts for the Stockton Urban Revitalization Fellowship and the Stockton Service Corps.
Highlights of their work include advocating for a CSU Stockton, developing curriculum for social justice-based learning, holding community discussions regarding district budget transparency and accountability, hosting a panel about supporting undocumented and mixed-status families in their academic achievement, and mobilizing students and parents to pass district policies supporting restorative justice practices, ethnic studies in high schools, as well as college, career and community readiness.
College, career and community readiness
Over 65% of our students are not completing the coursework needed to be eligible for higher education or trade school, and nearly 1 out of every 4 students graduate from SUSD high schools. My goal is to lean on data-driven, equity-centered policies to close the widening student achievement gap and move Stockton schools forward.
Budget transparency and accountability
The two grand jury reports that were released this year by the San Joaquin County courts have shown major issues with fiscal mismanagement within the district. As trustee, I hope to implement the recommendations of the grand jury report to reverse the growing deficit that is projected to grow to 30 million by 2024-2025 school year.
The district’s school safety and emergency coordination must be updated and adopted in compliance with statewide standards listed out by the California Department of Education, or risk continuing workplace hazards and public health crises on Stockton school campuses. The safety and security of students and staff’s lives must be prioritized before any conversation about fulfilling the district’s mission to provide high-quality education.