Liberty Elementary School District
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1. Are you a precinct committeeman? If yes, for how long?
Yes - One Year Republican LD23
2. Tell us a bit about yourself. What made you run for school board?
I have been married for 17-years and have five children, two of whom are currently in 6th grade in the Liberty Elementary School District. I have spent my life building successful businesses, and will continue to bring my business expertise and leadership to the Liberty School Board. I escaped California 3 years ago and I decided that I could not let what happened to Schools in California to happen to Arizona. I am committed to restoring tradition education to AZ public schools.
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?
Sex-ed should not be taught in K-5. 6-12 should be optional/Opt-in by parents.
4. Do you support the idea of parents being the sole stakeholders in their children’s lives?
Trust is eroded when school institutions do not respect parents, or worse, presume to know better than parents what their children need. We must have district leaders who abide by the Arizona Parents Bill of Rights – which ensures that parents understand what their children are learning, are confident that their children are being prepared for college and careers, and are respected when they voice their concerns.
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 and SEL has no place in public schools. SEL is a gateway to Marxist ideologies. We seem to be spending all our resources on making a child feel good, when in reality if we were educating the child, they would already feel good about themselves. There is no need for LGBTQ inclusion, schools can not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation! Again we need to focus on curriculum, not social ideologies and issues.
6. Based on the limitations and powers of a school board member, what’s your platform?
Require transparency - Parents have the right to know what their children are learning and what curriculum are used in the Liberty school district classroom. Respect Parents Rights - Trust is eroded when school institutions do not respect parents, or worse, presume to know better than parents what their children need. We must have district leaders who abide by the Arizona Parents Bill of Rights – which ensures that parents understand what their children are learning, are confident that their children are being prepared for college and careers, and are respected when they voice their concerns. Refocus on Academics - Parents send their children to school to be educated in core subject matters. Our students must come first, and our Governing Board needs to refocus efforts on assuring academic achievement goals are met. Let’s get back to strengthening our students in the basics of STEM science, technology, reading, writing, and math and keep divisive ideologies and political propaganda out of the classrooms. Remove Waste and Corruption - Waste and Corruption has a disproportionate impact on the poor and most vulnerable, increasing costs and reducing access to educational services. School Boards do very little in administration oversight in regards to proper spending for legal services, and the common practice of Superintendant's double dipping into State retirement. School board members need to get better educated on all statutes including budget and commercial. Supporting Teachers - We don't seem to have the backbone as a board to demand significantly higher pay for the professional staff. Where else in a profession do we require a Masters degree and pay virtually minimum wage to the employee? Teachers should be paid compensatory to other professions
7. What do you believe to be the biggest issue impacting K-12 students in Arizona?
Professional staff shortages are the #1 issue impacting K-12 public education. There are virtually no new recruits from the universities as the cost of a Master degree in teaching far outweighs the low entry level wages for teachers. I will continue to work with our administration and the legislature to provide the necessary resources our district needs to attract and keep quality educators. The other top issue is we need to get back to the traditional education model and allow teachers to teach and not be burdened with being a full time Psychologists.
8. How do you think the state should support public education? Do you believe in expanding school vouchers?
I believe the State should put more financial resources into public education! Our district is now dealing with a 3 million dollar shortfall due to an Override failure. We can’t afford to continue to lay off more teachers, this is hurting our children’s education. The state had open enrollment in place that allowed for transfers between school districts and charter schools that was highly successful. I do like the idea of the ESA program to allow those with no other options to seek a quality education in a private school setting… I do have some concerns, however ESA should put the public education system under enough pressure to provide better results.
9. Do you have a plan to fund renovations of schools in your area that are run down?
The Liberty school district is actually growing and we just added two new schools. In addition we have successfully budgeted reserves for repairs and updates.
10. Do you have a plan to address the shortage of teachers?
We really do have some of the best teachers in the Arizona public schools. We need to provide better classroom support and remove the burden of all the requirements surrounding SEL and discipline issues. Low pay is one of the critical issues school boards are currently dealing with as is related to professional staff shortages. There are virtually no new recruits from the universities as the cost of a Master degree in teaching far outweighs the low entry level wages for teachers. I spent the last year working with our Superintendant to completely re-budget and was able to increase wages by 4.6%. I will continue to find the resources to increase teacher compensation and way I can!
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?
Absolutely, as long as they have the appropriate training!
12. Please feel free to add any additional information you would like voters to know about your candidacy.
Since my appointment to the Liberty 25 school board last October, I have championed full transparency by requiring the administration to have public meetings on new curriculum, and displaying all curriculum, Primary and supplementary materials be posted on the district website.