Q: With the disintegration of the American family, schools are being asked to take on child-rearing and social-service duties that far overreach their traditional educational responsibilities. Should schools, continually plagued by shortages of funds, continue to accept these duties?
A: Many social service-oriented programs are federally or state-funded and these should be continued in our schools. I believe that basic educational skills should be emphasized in public schools and properly funded. I am against removing dollars allocated toward education and vocational training to fund social-service programs in the schools.
Q: A related question is whether schools should teach values that may be largely absent from today's homes or society in general. Do you believe schools should play this role? If so, please specify the values you believe children should be taught.
A: I am in favor of public schools emphasizing values in terms of citizenship, respect, integrity and honor with regard to becoming a citizen and member of the community. Children should be presented with information and allowed to form their own independent opinions. Certain basic values are needed to maintain a society. However, we are all individuals and must learn responsibility.
Q: Last school year, a controversy over the math program at Fort Clarke Middle School raised the question of the proper role and power of school advisory councils. More recently, prominent local lawmakers said they wanted to boost the councilŐs power legislatively. In your opinion, how much policy or fiscal decision-making power should the councils have, and why?
A: The SAC committees were intended to have various representatives of the community that would collectively meet to decide the individual concerns and needs of each school. Their ideas would help the school board to make policies and allocate funds for each school's improvement plan. It would be very difficult to have each SAC acting as an independent agent for funding and policy-making if they were allowed to supersede the school board's decision making ability for the county.
Q: Tension between excellence and equality has long been a fixture of American society. Lately, this tension has been expressed in an educational debate over whether schools should encourage cooperation and equity or competition and excellence. Which side do you come down on and why?
A: All of our schools should be encouraged to set high standards to achieve educational excellence. I believe that competition allows for this process to occur. However, it is the responsibility of the school board to ensure that all schools are given proper funds for facility maintenance and educational programs. Equality in modern equipment and supplies in the classroom are essential to compete for educational excellence.
Q: What is the single most important thing you would like to accomplish in four years as a school board member?
A: I would like to see that our students are given adequate educational and vocational training so that they have the educational resources and skills to become productive members of society upon graduation.
Click for data on opponent: Bill Cake
For a story about this race, click on Sun Story
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