Utah for Local Education

Candidate: Scott Neilson

Office: State School Board, District 13 (2016 PrimaryElection)

2016 Election Candidate Survey Questions and Answers

Candidate answers are presented exactly as received, including grammatical and spelling errors.

Q1: What are the three (3) most critical education issues in our state?

A1-1: Education

A1-2: Transportation

A1-3: Water and Air

Q2: Do you believe the Common Core State Standards (also known as the Utah Core) will prepare students to be college and career ready?

A2: No

Q3: Recently Governor Gary Herbert asked the State School Board to leave the Common Core and implement new statewide standards. As a member of the State School Board, would you support the Governor's request?

A3: Yes

Q4: Do you believe parents should be able to opt a student out of the statewide assessment tests and the State Longitudinal Database System?

A4: Yes

Q5: Do you believe Utah should provide universal pre-K education for children?

A5: No

Q6: Do you believe public schools are adequately funded? If not, please briefly specify changes that should be made to provide appropriate financial support.

A6: No. Increase property taxes to the level they were in the 1990's. Nobody wants a tax hike. However, how do we expect to recruit top teacher talent when the starting pay is low, the benefits mediocre, and the retirement system is less than stellar?

Q7: With regard to the Federal Department of Education, do you support: A) Keeping it as it is, B) Changing it to a small research and advisory organization, C) Completely eliminating it, D) Other (please specify)

A7: Completely eliminating it

Q8: If you want to clarify any of your answers, please do so here.

A8: Schools should be controlled locally. The State Board of Education should set the standards. The parents, teachers, administrators, and, most importantly, the locally elected school boards, should more or less govern the day to day operations. The less bureaucracy and the more parent involvement the better. I want to make schools more accountable to the people they serve, not to the federal government.

Q9: If you want to share a brief position on education issues, please do so here.

A9: Education is the engine that drives our economy. However, the types of education currently being pushed is up for debate. While I believe most kids should prepared for college, some would be far better off learning a skilled trade such as welding, plumbing, auto mechanics, electrician work, and heavy equipment operating etc.