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James Knox

Queen Creek 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 2 years in AZ and many more in other states. 


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


As a homeschool parent and a former Montana Legislator, I have actively addressed the challenges within the public schools and taken personal responsibility to ensure my children obtain a quality education. However, I believe that as a taxpayer, we all must ensure that the system we pay for is the best quality education option we can offer. With the schools’ top-heavy budgets, toxic environment and classroom politicization, the classic American education (reading, writing, arithmetic, sciences, critical thinking, and entrepreneurship) has been lost. I intend to be your voice to speak out and return funding to the classroom, not the administration, and ensure the curriculum is classical in nature and not filled with political objectives and that our children can graduate with the ability to think critically and have a path to success. If you seek a candidate that just rubber stamps whatever the Superintendent wishes, then I am not that candidate. I plan to push for curriculum transparency by putting up school plans on the school’s websites. I plan to question what we are doing as a district and drive conversations that lead to putting excellence back into the classroom. This means we need to listen to our teachers and ensure they have the resources needed. Questioning our budget and ensuring the funds are going into the classroom, preparing for future growth, and not repeatedly asking the taxpayers for bonds. Now that parents have true school choice through the ESA program, we have a responsibility to make Queen Creek schools the choice parents want for their 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? 


Nothing beyond the basic biological process. May be introduced in Natural Sciences in the 5th-6th grade and reinforced later on in the biology context. 


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


100%! Parents must take responsibility for their children and all the related influences. 


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 or variations cannot exist in our schools or our American society. Regarding Bloom365, you cannot prevent all violence. You can promote a society of civility and respect, but much of what is happening in school shootings and violence is a result of acting out due to the confusing messaging in our schools vs. the home. Regarding Corwin publishing though I know very little about them, any publisher shaping curriculum for a social agenda is not tolerable. We need to return to a classic American education of reading, writing, arithmetic, science and critical thinking. The latter being the most important as it guides the student to eb able to take ownership of their life and the path they take. 


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


My platform includes: 

• Fiscal responsibility including planning for future growth, not bonds. 

• Parental Rights: school transparency, all curricula posted publicly. 

• Pro America Curriculum 

• Keeping CRT/SEL out of our schools 

• Supporting Students as individuals not special interest groups. 

• To be accountable to parents and the taxpayer and hold the superintendent accountable 

• Address the hostile environment, which has resulted in a 39% staff turnover. 


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


• Poor political agenda-based curriculum 

• Inconsistency in the classroom 

• Funding not getting into the classroom 

• Settling for less than excellence 

• School boards not actively interacting with the public 


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


I am all in favor of the expansion of the ESA program. My wife and I have homeschooled my children for years and have taken personal responsibility as their parents to ensure their education was one of excellence. We have assumed all costs and loss of second income because our children’s education is valuable to us. The ESA program now lets us have an opportunity to have some costs covered and ensure a portion goes to our local school district to support the infrastructure of the public systems. This is tax money we have always paid and by choice never had the opportunity to use, and neither did the local school district have access to it. I see this program as a win-win. We need more state-supporting parental choice options. 


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


I do have a plan for renovations and building new schools for our expanding district. Essentially shifting funding to where it needs to be, changing expectations of the administration to ensure we have classrooms that are self-funded through fiscal conservatism. 


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


In QC, part of the shortage is the hostile work environment, which is one of the items I plan to address. Teachers and staff are afraid to speak up for fear of retaliation from the superintendent. The school board does not really listen either. I also think we need to shift the high increase of funding put into administration away and into the classroom. Teachers never went to college to get rich, but they should have an expectation of being able to afford to live in the community they work in. I have a salary bonus plan on my website to take this one and provide an opportunity for up to a 20% increase each year, based upon meeting certain criteria. This bonus plan mirrors those in corporate America would be an annual opportunity and promotes excellence through competition. This will make teacher want to come to QCUSD. 


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, and armed society is a polite society. 


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


As a freshman legislator, I am a former Montana legislator who introduced 18 bills and carried 16, 7 of which directly impacted education. The Governor vowed to veto any bill I had; I gave him plenty of opportunities to do that. My opposition feared my effectiveness just like it is today in this race. I am a no-nonsense conservative with a long history of service. I understand we did not get to the state we are in overnight, but we can expect more and demand more. I will be the school board member accountable to you through which changes for education excellence will come.