Fahria Khan has the background for the job; all she needs is votes to become the first South Asian on the board
The school district in Fremont, California, has a strong academic record, but also its own set of issues – a shortage of classes, schools, space for them and, undergirding all these problems, a dearth of funds.
Fahria Khan hopes to help address some of these difficulties – if she elected to be a member of the Fremont Unified School District Board in November.
Khan is quite qualified for the task. She is an MIT graduate and a mother of five children who has been actively involved in her Parent Teachers Association.
She has been actively involved for the past eight years in district schools. Khan is currently president of the Irvington High School Parent Teacher Student Association and has served as president of the Parent Teacher Organization/PTA at Horner Junior High and Weibel Elementary schools.
A girl scout troop leader for 12 years, Khan has held professional positions as a commissioner for the Alameda County Human Relations Commission and Status of Women Commission, on the District Equity Committee, and is now president of the Fremont Education Foundation.
She was recently honored by Kansen Chu, Assembly member of District 25, with the 2018 Community Hero award for her many years of work improving education in Fremont.
If elected, Khan, who is of Bangladeshi origin, will be the first South Asian to serve on the FUSB.
“Being involved in Fremont’s schools and community for more than 15 years has equipped me with the experience and relationships to fight for and achieve what is best for “our children,” Khan told indica.
“I am a parent and community member who is passionate about ensuring that Fremont Unified School District provides quality education for each student,” she said.
According to her, a board member’s initiatives must be driven by what students need to compete and thrive in a global marketplace. She also needs to ensure safety and equal opportunities for all students.
“With five children in the public school system, I dedicate a large portion of my time to serving our students,” she said.
According to the FUSD website, the school district is made up of 42 schools serving nearly 35,000 students in grades K-12 and boasts 14 National Merit Scholars and 11 in 2016. This, in a city of 231,664 people.
She said that new housing in the area also resulted in crowded schools, a factor that cannot legally be considered when approving or denying new developments. Khan said that Fremont and FUSD have still successfully collaborated with developers to fund a new elementary school by the Warm Springs BART station, Lila Bringhurst, which is slated to open next August.
Khan feels it is important to continue with such partnerships where developers fund additional classrooms for students that the new housing will bring in.
The district is also addressing the overcrowding problem by converting junior highs to middle schools to move sixth graders up into the current junior highs, freeing up space at the elementary schools. Despite these efforts, FUSD still needs more elementary schools and at least one more junior high and high school each.
“We will need to keep advocating for more funds from the state and the developers who are adding students to our overcrowded classrooms,” Khan said.
If she wins November, Khan will have the chance to do it herself.