1. What knowledge and skills do you think kids need to succeed in the 21st century? What can you do as a legislator to make sure local schools deliver these outcomes?
The STEM curriculum is a start and the STEM addition at CMR supports this curriculum. State support for STEM and keeping in mind that students need to be college and/or career ready when finishing high school.
2. What can the state legislature do to ensure districts can attract and retain good teachers, meet accreditation standards and federal mandates, and prepare students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the 21st century?
The state legislature needs to fund more of the school budgets. They also need to look at aging infrastructures and help to find ways for new or renovation construction funding.
3. What priority will you place as a legislator on providing appropriate educational programs for students with disability and other special populations such as gifted students, at-risk students and students in poverty?
As a former school board trustee I would continue to maintain the standard that all students deserve to be educated and ultimately become college and/or career ready.
4. Given the risk of school shootings and other violent acts committed on school properties, what can and should our elected officials do to ensure the safety of the students and teachers in our schools?
Funding is needed to help secure our schools. There are not enough School Resource Officers to cover all schools. Enhanced security is essential.
5. What is your position on school choice and vouchers or tax credits for private and parochial schools in Montana?
I support any parent’s right to choose schools for their children. I do not support using state or federal dollars to fund private or parochial schools.
6. How should the state contribute to much-needed funding for aging school facilities, infrastructure, and outdated technology needs in our schools?
Several ideas come to mind such as shared costs for bonds with the districts, special state funding for the facilities deemed highest priority, and tax breaks for district tax payers doing new construction or major renovations.
7. Currently the school district takes advantage of funding provided by non-school district sources to provide food programs for hungry students and affordable and convenient access to health care. Do you support such programs? Why or why not?
Yes I do support these programs because students are known to not be getting proper nourishment and students (as well as their parents) often avoid trips to the doctor’s office. School are and should be a safe and trusted place.