What is your idea of the role of government in education?
That is a sweeping question because there are so many aspects to the different parts of what goes on in education and the government’s varying involvement in them. In short, my views all stem around the fact that having children is a gift from God to the parents and it is the parents’ God-given duty to educate their children. The government at every level, and our courts, have solidified that reality. Our local school districts are one of many tools for parents to use to accomplish their duty.
The government can be involved, in my view, when students are not being well served in the current structure. For example, setting uprights and programming for special needs children.
When my own children were going through the public school system, I disagreed with some of the curriculum choices. On some points, the material wasn’t as challenging as it needed to be; on others, it was inappropriate for young students. Some of the material being presented was more of a political agenda than an excellent education based in truth.
The government should be responsive to parents because parents have the ultimate responsibility over educating their children. The government must not create a monopoly so that we have a one size fits all education system. Parents must have real choices in education and each choice should not have the same standards, curriculum, and regulations. If, for example, government funds go to private schools, that should not mean Common Core and more testing should follow. Competition breeds excellence, and we do not want governmental strings breaking apart what is working. Parents will choose what’s best for their children, and it is in our best interest as a society to have a well-educated population.
Lastly, our local school districts must be responsive to the parents in the community on what material the children should learn as well. Hurtful, biased, and inappropriate things should not be presented to our children. As an education advocate, I’ve worked for twenty years to maintain local control and the power of parents in education.
What are some changes you’d institute into schools with COVID regulations? Any things you’d do differently or new things you’d institute if you’re elected?
We need to do what is necessary to keep children safe. The data shows that children have an extremely low risk of serious harm from contracting COVID-19, but we must protect each child. We can’t let the cure become worse than the disease, and I would work to institute standards on the Board of Education that reflect that. We must provide all students with an excellent education. What we are doing now is not coming anywhere close to that. Many students have lost about a year of their K‑12 education. K‑12 does not get a do-over. We must be teaching face-to-face. If children or staff are at high risk, they need to stay home. The negative ramifications of what has been going on extend well beyond poor academic fall out as well. We have seen abuse, anxiety, depression, and suicide rates skyrocket. Students are not getting enough exercise or socialization. Young people are being asked to do things they are not capable of doing. Special needs children are getting the short end of the stick. The list goes on. Let’s give an online option for those who want or need it, but let’s get what we are paying for and what our children deserve — a complete education. We are developing young minds. Imagine what this is doing for them. Remember, cases were not the reason for the lockdown — it was deaths. We never adjusted to reality, especially for children.
What are your biggest goals if elected?
Return academic excellence to Michigan schools. After a large funding increase for education to fix derelict school buildings in Detroit passed, I went to the buildings in question to check on the improvements. The buildings had not been repaired. I went to my state representative to ask about accountability, and he admitted there wasn’t any accountability for how the money had been spent. We spend so much money on educating our children, but they won’t benefit fully if it’s not spent well. As a certified public accountant, I will bring accountability to the education system.
My other main goal is to bring balance to our state school standards. The College, Career, and Civic Life Social Studies standards adopted in 2019, for example, took school standards from biased to hostile to conservative values. As I campaign across the state, I hear from tearful parents and grandparents who say their children won’t talk to them anymore. School systems hold our children for 13 years and over 12,000 hours. When only one perspective is taught, many children can come to see their families as regressive. This hurts our communities and goes against the mission of education.