As a child of two educators and the parent of three children in the public education system, I feel strongly about the importance of getting a good education. I understand the challenges that Utah faces with having large families and limited resources. I have been a strong advocate for local control and feel that decisions are best made at the level closest to the student and parent. I have aggressively pushed back on efforts by the Federal Government to influence education policy in our state. As a member of the State Board of Education, I have fought against efforts to push national standards into our schools. I believe that we should come up with Utah solutions, not copy and paste national agendas. I have been outspoken in support for allowing parents the ability to opt out of testing. I feel strongly that parents should decide what is best for the children and that the state should not mandate participation.
(Deseret News Article “School Board Member Putting High School Math in the Crosshairs”)
One of the most critical needs our state has is to increase funding for education. Our state currently ranks 51st in per pupil spending. While we’re doing relatively well with the limited resources we spend, we need to do better in order to provide the level of education our kids need to be successful. As a state, we need to stand up to the Federal Government and demand that they return the land that was promised to us at statehood. This could provide a significant increase in funding for education. Over the last few years, this has become a hot button issue. However, my dad in his role as state superintendent in 1989, called on the Attorney General to sue the federal government to return lands and funds back to the State of Utah. I will support efforts to continue to fight to have land that we were promised returned to the state. (Deseret News Article – “Utah Urged to Sue Over Trust Lands”)