I have volunteered in local schools for over 20 years. I know we need to empower teachers with stable funding and smaller class sizes and focus on the mission of education rather than mandates. What is the mission of our schools? I believe it is to empower every student to reach their potential.
This incredible task must begin with statewide pre-kindergarten for those parents who want it for their children. When children are brought into the school environment at this stage, graduation rates rise dramatically and the difficulties experienced with children who struggle to adapt to school are greatly reduced.
I believe that teachers and local education officials should have more autonomy in setting classroom standards. High-quality education is not a luxury; it is a necessity. I will work to deliver better results for students at all grade levels and make higher education more affordable and accessible for all Oregonians.
I will improve our education system by working to:
- Establish pre-kindergarten
- Establish stable school funding
- Lower class sizes
- Prioritize career, technical, and agricultural programs
- Increase graduation rates
- Support adults who are returning to school to develop new job skills
- Lower the cost of college tuition
My wife is an advocate for students with disabilities and I have seen first hand how we can better equip our schools to help students with different needs. As a volunteer ASPIRE counselor, one of my greatest joys was helping set students on a path to college, often the first in their family to go. With the help of many special-ed teachers, my wife Christy and I have brought a proven nonprofit program to McMinnville and Hillsboro schools that equipped teachers to help close the achievement gap for students at risk. Everyone deserves a quality education and I will work to make sure all our students get what they need to succeed starting with pre-kindergarten.