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Newcomer Davids announces bid for Lincoln-area seat on State Board of Education

Liz Davids has tossed her name into the hat for the seat on the Nebraska State Board of Education that encompasses Lincoln and northwest Lancaster County.

Davids, of Lincoln, is the founder of the nonprofit Empower Nebraska — an educational activism organization for conservative Nebraskans — and considers herself to be an educator because she has, for years, taught each of her five children at home.

“I am a home educator. I do not have a teacher certification, but I have educated my own children as well as others in a micro-school setting,” she said. “So, I'm an educator and educational advocate and an advocate for children.”

Davids frequently attends both State and Lincoln Board of Education meetings where she often gives what she called “bold statements" during public comment. She has also testified against proposed statewide comprehensive sex education standards, although she clarified that she has no problem with the current Lincoln Public Schools sex education curriculum.

By participating in board meetings, Davids said she has had the opportunity to hear from community members about their thoughts on the actions of the boards, better preparing her for a leadership role.

“That increase in hearing from more and more community members, and participating more in the vehicles for civic engagement, really led me to decide that now is a perfect time to represent the people that I've talked to over the past few years as a State Board of Education member,” she said.

The District 1 seat has long been held by Patsy Koch Johns, a Democrat, who announced in August that she would not seek another term on the board. Koch Johns has endorsed Davids' opponent, Kristin Christensen, also a Democrat.

Davids is endorsed by the group Nebraskans For Founders Values; several state senators including Lou Ann Linnehan and Dave Murman, the chair of the Legislature’s Education Committee; Ben Houchin, Lancaster County’s chief deputy sheriff; and Suzanne Geist, a former senator and mayoral candidate.

She said her campaign is based on three values: academics, collaboration and transparency.

With those values in mind, she said she hopes to raise the standard for students and increase opportunities available to them, specifically in regard to STEM-related programs; improve the level of communication between schools and parents; and increase transparency to ensure community members are in the loop on things like property taxes.

“I want better for our kids, and I think we can do better,” she said.

Article originally published by the Lincoln Journal Star.

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