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Judy Rutkowski

Fountain Hills Unified School District

EZAZ.org provides voter education and does not endorse candidates.

1. Are you a precinct committeeman? If yes, for how long? 


Yes, for about 15 years. 


2. Tell us a bit about yourself. What made you run for school board? 


My family has lived in Fountain Hills since 2001. Our two children attended FH schools. I volunteered in the classroom, then also worked as a school nurse in the District. I became more and more interested in the education of our children and other children, which promoted me to run for the Governing Board in 2014 and for re-election in 2018. My goal has been and is to do what I can to support the best possible education for our students. 


3. Do you support sexual education of children in the classroom? At what age do you believe this is appropriate, and do you believe that a parent should have the opportunity to opt out? 


Schools should focus on the basics: math, science, history, civics, English language, etc. Teaching "health science," from the view of disease prevention, can be acceptable, especially for older students, but schools should not be delving into issues such as gender identity and "transitions." Parents have an absolute right to know the content of the curriculum and to opt out of aspects with which they disagree. 


4. Do you support the idea of parents being the sole stakeholders in their children’s lives? 


Parents play a critical and primary role in raising their children. Schools must recognize and respect that. 


5. What is your position on critical race theory, social-emotional learning, LGBTQ inclusion, and equity issues in the classroom? What do you know of Bloom365 and Corwin Press and what are your opinions? 


CRT & SEL have no legitimate place in our schools. I believe in equality of opportunity, not in the equality of outcome (which is often characterized as "equity.") Every person deserves respect, and no student should be bullied or demeaned, but nobody should be forced to condone a lifestyle or behavior which is contrary to their own morals or religious belief system. I have no direct knowledge about Bloom 365. I believe that Corwin Press is a publisher which supports the concept of structural racism. Structural racism is part of CRT and, as noted above, I oppose CRT. 


6. Based on the limitations and powers of a school board member, what’s your platform? 


I believe in schools which focus on teaching the basics as noted earlier, with the goal of teaching students to become responsible, productive adults. This should be done in a fiscally responsible manner, prioritizing teacher and classroom funding. Curriculum should be readily accessible for review and comment by parents. Parents' participation in the education of their children should be actively encouraged and supported. Parents' Voices Matter! 


7. What do you believe to be the biggest issue impacting K-12 students in Arizona? 


I think it is maintaining focus on what I see as the main purpose of a school, that is, to provide a quality education which emphasizes the traditional elements of math, science, etc. and recognizing the primary role of parents in the education of and upbringing of their children, and to do so with fiscal responsibility. 


8. How do you think the state should support public education? Do you believe in expanding school vouchers? 


School vouchers do give parents the option to select the best school for their children and fosters competition. Competition generally yields a better product. Public schools must strive to compete effectively with other school options. 


9. Do you have a plan to fund renovations of schools in your area that are run down? 


Our District recognizes that we currently have excess capacity and is in the process of deciding how to proceed with consolidation of campuses, which will include a decision about the future of our oldest school building. 


10. Do you have a plan to address the shortage of teachers? 


We have been able to offer teacher compensation which makes our District competitive with neighboring districts. Our class sizes are smaller. These elements, along with the creation of a positive working relationship with administration, will hopefully attract and retain the best teachers. 


11. Do you support allowing retired military or police officers, who pass background checks, to work or volunteer in our schools to prevent mass shootings? 


Yes. 


12. Please feel free to add any additional information you would like voters to know about your candidacy. 


I have served on the Governing Board for two terms, so I offer my past experience and continued commitment to making our district schools even better. Thank you.