Trent Humphries is one of three Republicans running for a seat in Legislative District 26 House of Representatives GOP primary that voters will decide on Sept. 2. We asked him some questions about education policy.
Should the AIMS test remain a requirement for graduation?
No, by the time graduation comes around, the horse has already left the barn. We need to be tracking that from the minute they start the first grade and on as well as work to address any deficiencies before graduation day.
Do you favor any changes to the AIMS test?
We need something like the MAPS test to get the metrics we need. The AIMS test doesn’t really bring us the numbers we need to make sound decisions.
Do you support state-funded vouchers for private or religious schools?
No, not at this time, just because there is a lot of push back from the private school system, so until that can be resolved, I’m pretty happy with the current charter school system.
Does the state need to spend more on school construction and should we borrow to pay for that construction?
I think we need to look at that on a case-by-case basis. I would like to see us work on existing structures. However, there are times when we are going to have to build new schools and there may also be times when we have to bond to do that, but for now I would like to see us only bond when it is absolutely necessary.
Should school construction funds come from the general fund or would you prefer a new revenue source for school construction?
From the general fund. The problem is, if you single something out where it always has to go, then you end up spending that money whether you need to or not.
Do you support merit pay for teachers?
Indeed, I do.
How would you determine how merit pay was awarded?
As a part of the MAPS test. By pupil performance, based on where the pupil starts compared to where they end up. If somebody consistently produces better students going out than what came in, that’s somebody that I want to make sure gets a little more reward and recognition so we can keep them.
Do you support sex-ed programs that include information on abstinence, contraception and HIV/STD prevention?
Yes, but in a limited format. I also think there needs to be sensitivity for the parents who wish to deal with that at home.