Youth and Government students get inside look at legislative process

District+Board+of+Trustees+member+Debbie+Gillespie+%28Place+5%29+speaks+to+the+campus+Youth+and+Government+club+about+her+work+as+a+board+member.+Students+then+had+to+ask+her+questions+about+her+thoughts+on+education+legislation+just+three+days+before+the+board+election+on+Saturday.

Lucas Barr

District Board of Trustees member Debbie Gillespie (Place 5) speaks to the campus Youth and Government club about her work as a board member. Students then had to ask her questions about her thoughts on education legislation just three days before the board election on Saturday.

Frisco Board of Trustees secretary Debbie Gillespie spent Thursday’s advisory period talking to Youth and Government members to discuss her work and students’ roles in legislation.

“We are concentrating on school finance. If you do school finance, you can get relief. ”

— Frisco Board of Trustees secretary Debbie Gillespie

“We invited Mrs. Gillespie to come speak because we thought it would be great for our members to hear about how impacting legislation and making your voice heard is possible on all levels of advocacy,” senior Brayden Miller said. “Also, we thought that hearing from a leader in our own district would give our members great perspective on the different issues that face our community specifically.”

The event was designed to enrich students’ comprehension of legislation from a professional working in the field.

“There wasn’t exactly a purpose she came for,” senior Amer Jusupovic said. “She kind of just wanted to discuss the different aspects of her job, the demands that she has, and also it was really just open to questions and seeing what we wanted to gain out of the conversation and it generally revolved around student participation and education and how we could get our voices out there and make them heard.”

Among the topics discussed was school finance, which Gillespie looked to explain to students.

“We are concentrating on school finance,” Gillespie said. “If you do school finance, you can get relief. It’s just not mixed in because if the state was funding schools like they’re supposed to as to the Constitution, then the relief would already be there, we would be able to lower those taxes quite a bit if we weren’t having to depend on local tax dollars to do that.”

My biggest takeaway was definitely that our legislators – whether that be at the local, state, or national level – really value the opinions and perspectives of high school students,”

— senior Brayden Miller

Besides discussing topics of school finance, Gillespie also went over various other matters which allowed students to broaden their knowledge.

“I thought it was beneficial especially when we asked questions to get her input on other topics other than education, such as criminal justice and other committees,” sophomore Ananda Ghoshal said. “I think it allowed us to open our eyes to see what sort of issues people like her are dealing with in order to better our educational experience.”

In order to bring about change and awareness for issues they care about, students were urged to express their views and get involved with their community.

“My biggest takeaway was definitely that our legislators – whether that be at the local, state, or national level – really value the opinions and perspectives of high school students,” Miller said. “She said that because we are in the education system currently, we have an extremely valuable perspective and insider look on the concerns that need to be addressed not only with regards to education but when talking about other issues as well. Hearing that as high schoolers we have a legitimate potential to jumpstart change was really inspiring.”