Name: Brenda Furtado
Seat: Ward 4 School Committee
Education: Attleboro Public Schools
Brenda Furtado is finishing up her first year as a member of the Attleboro School Committee and is seeking another term in the 2011 election. upcoming election.
Furtado said she has learned a lot in her year on the committee, particularly about the specifics of the district’s finances, which aligns well with her job experience and financial background as an office manager.
Furtado has two boys in the district, one in sixth grade and the other in eighth, however she believes that her job on the school committee is not to just voice her views on what’s best for her children, but to represent the views of the parents of Ward 4.
“It’s not my school committee, it’s our school committee,” Furtado said.
In addition to her experience with finances, which included serving on the district’s financial sub-committee, Furtado says the biggest thing she offers is the fact that she is a parent and she is invested in the schools.
“I’m in the schools, I know the challenges and the achievements,” she said.
Furtado say she has frequent conversations with parents and teachers to see what they think and the concerns they have, but she is also sure to ask the students what they think.
As a member of the school committee, Furtado also says she knows that she is the voice of her ward, not just herself.
“It’s not about me," Furtado said. :When I sit at that table I have my Ward 4 behind me. I’m their voice and I’m proud to be their voice.”
Issues That Matter
The issue facing the school committee according to Furtado is the annual budget.
“Money is always a problem,” Furtado said.
The district has not had a budget increase in the past three years, and as such the committee has had to work with the administration to come to a satisfactory budget each year.
“You have to have balance; we need our kids to be well rounded individuals", said Furtado who is an advocate for the presence of the arts, music and technology programs in the elementary schools and throughout the district. These three specials are always a concern during budget time.