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CANDIDATE  SURVEYS 

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J.R. Wright

Mesa Unified School District

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

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


No 


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


I'm a personal byproduct of Mesa Public Schools. All 7 of my children currently attend or have graduated from the Mesa School District. We’ve all richly benefited from so many quality teachers, coaches, administrators, and experiences that come from Mesa Public Schools. I want to continue the great tradition and excellence that Mesa Public Schools offers to our children. 


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? 


I believe first and foremost, Sex Ed should be done by trusted parents or guardians in a safe trusted environment, mostly at home. I do see value in basic sex ed in schools for kids at the appropriate age as long as parents have opted in and where they can learn the risks of pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease, and other harmful effects. The content of these classes should be fully known in advance and readily available to parents. Taught by at least 2 presenters at a time and should be fact based and based on science and not contrary to what parents teach at home. 


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


Yes, parents are the primary stakeholder in their child’s education. 


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? 


All students should have a safe and accepting place to come and learn and develop into the students and citizens that we need them to become. Political agendas should stay out of schools entirely. 


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


I do not have any personal agendas, for me this position is not a political position but more of an opportunity to help the district focus their priorities and objectives and align the tools and the resources available so we can accomplish what we all want, which is great education, opportunities and experiences for our children. 


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


Catching our kids up from the Covid lockdowns and school closings. Literacy for our younger children especially. On a broader topic, we must train and retain the very best teachers and give them to tools to rise our kids to the level of technology and training needed for the next generation workforce. Our kids need to become better problem solvers, to think on their feet and communicate better. 


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


85% of our children in Arizona go to Public Schools so that should be the primary focus of of our state legislature. I do support school vouchers for certain purposes. Private and Charter Schools drive up innovation and competition that Public Schools need to address. Mesa Public Schools has pioneered these efforts by proving parents many options, programs and choices. I do believe that Public education provides our students with the most well rounded education, social skills, sports, the arts, clubs and academics that provide the best training so our kids are ready for college, workforce and to be valuable citizens of our community. 


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


We have to look at all of the options and make the decisions in the best interest of now and in the future. It may mean closing some schools while rebuilding others. Keeping contractors honest in their bidding processes and making sure that the improvements will allow us to increase our technology abilities as well as energy efficiency’s in the years and decades to come. 


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


First of all, the district is addressing this thru a variety of ways. We just increased salaries by 10% (still not enough) we have great partnerships with ASU and the next generation workforce which allows teacher to collaborate with each other, feel supported and compliment their classrooms by working together. I also feel like I can be an advocate and promote that Mesa Public schools is a great place to learn, to work, and to be recognized. We have to continue to develop a culture of excellence of accomplishment and outstanding achievement. When we do that we will attract the greatest teachers and support staff organically. 


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 am Mesa Public Schools Biggest fan! I would be honored to have your vote. Put me to work in Mesa Public Schools!