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Jung Yueh, School Committee Candidate

By : Helena De Figueiredo Valente

This Tuesday, April 4, Belmont will be holding elections for school committee members. Highpoint was able to interview Jung Yueh, one of the candidates.

This Tuesday, April 4, Belmont will be holding elections for school committee members. One of the candidates, Jung Yueh, was interviewed by Highpoint. Yueh is a Belmont resident with two children, an 8th-grade daughter and a 5th-grade son, who attend Chenery. He is involved in the community as a soccer coach. He is an actuary in charge of financial analysis, or, as he puts it “a math person in the business world”. He interprets data from market research surveys. As such, his approach to being a school board committee member is analytical. Yueh plans to asses the school’s financial issues with his mathematical background and find solutions for the budget problems the school is currently facing. He also wants to build community and maintain the schools’ high academic standards. He praises current board members’ expertise in education; he hopes his skills will make the school committee team more well-rounded.

Yueh believes students deserve strong educational support and opportunities to thrive. This includes special education, English Language Learning, and support for students who missed math topics during the pandemic and need to catch up. Yueh wants to maintain students’ option to do advanced coursework wherever possible. He took advanced coursework in high school in math and literature, and he wants his children to be able to do the same if they wish. However, he only thinks students should take advanced courses if they are genuinely interested in the subject, not in order to increase their chances of getting into college. He fears offering too many AP classes will lead parents to force their students to take them just to get into college, and he is against drastically increasing the number of APs available so as not to push students too hard and stress them unnecessarily. Yueh believes it is most important that children learn how to learn so they can tackle the problems they will face as adults. “If you can learn how to solve a problem by doing your own research, by finding solutions, or finding out who to ask for help, that’s most important,” not “having a full plate of APs,” he says. However, he is a firm believer in providing leveled classes to meet students’ needs wherever those may fall. He says this will increase equity since some parents have the resources to send children to advanced summer school or out-of-school classes, while others do not. Some children’s only opportunity to take advanced coursework in subjects they like is honors classes provided in school.

Jung Yueh,

Yueh admits that dealing with the school’s recent budget cuts will be hard, but he is committed to finding solutions. The budget cuts happened in part because, two years ago, the town did not vote for an override (see our previous Highpoint article on the override). Yueh also reiterates that the school’s budget issues are a reflection of broader town budget issues and that revitalizing the town’s budget will help the schools. He asserts that we need to make sure to get help from state representatives and use the state aid we are entitled to. The governor’s budget recently came down, providing Belmont with more support than expected, which Yueh says will help. The Fair Share Amendment Massachusetts recently passed also provides more support for local schools, and Yueh says we need to make sure we get that money. Elizabeth Dion, the current selectman candidate, is making an effort to change regulations to make it easier for businesses to come into Belmont. The current regulations are lengthy and discourage businesses from entering Belmont. The regulation changes will hopefully lead more businesses to come into town, and the business taxes will also help the budget, Yueh asserts.

With regard to social justice issues that have been coming up in our schools recently, such as recent incidents in assemblies, Yueh believes starting conversations and listening to different perspectives civilly will help fix problems. He says the superintendent should be ahead of issues, make it clear what is right, and start change from the top. He reminds us that students can email the school committee about their opinions and complaints. Yueh’s ultimate goal is to build community and be a complementary part of the school committee. He promises to study the schools’ issues and tell a story about the budget, to communicate numbers into stories so people can understand them.


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