Michelle Sarju is right: Students of color should not have to fight for their right to basic education or fair treatment.

The best candidate for the Seattle School Board, District 5 position, also understands that effective boards set broad policy goals. They leave the implementation to teachers and administrators while holding them accountable for results.

Seattle Times editorial board endorsements: Election 2021

As she put it in an endorsement interview: “A school board director’s role is nose in, fingers out.”

Sarju knows firsthand the school district’s strengths, shortcomings and quirks, having sent three Black children and several foster children to Seattle Public Schools.

Her experience will be invaluable as the district tackles goals of an equitable education for all students and develops plans to support them after a stressful year that exacerbated existing inequities. That won’t be easy in a sprawling district of more than 100 schools and more than 50,000 students, but it must be done.

She said students cannot learn in an environment where they are marginalized and traumatized. Sarju is a trained social worker who manages a Public Health — Seattle & King County program offering pregnancy and parenting services for families with young children. She knows what children and families need to thrive.

Also running for the position are school volunteer Crystal S. Liston and Boeing engineer Dan Harder. Neither can match Sarju’s passion, perspective and experience.

She is the best candidate for the District 5 position.