David Gowan is one of four Republican candidates running for a seat in Legislative District 30 House of Representatives. We asked him some questions on education policy.
Should the AIMS test remain a requirement for high-school graduation?
I know a lot of teachers don’t like it… Federally mandated standards make things rough. I’m all about patriotism but they still need to be learning their basic reading, math, and arithmetic. There should be some sort of performance standard. I heard from The Goldwater Institute that this is the first time in history that our students won’t know as much as their parents did.
Do you favor any changes for the AIMS test?
No, not at the moment.
Do you support state-funded vouchers for private or religious schools?
Yes, I believe in the parental school choice in that aspect. When you allow the free market to blossom, you have better situations. If I’m a parent and I pay my taxes and the school is performing well – whether it’s a private, public or charter school – I want my child in that school.
Does the state need to spend more on school construction?
We need to make sure that our schools are up to par and they are not falling apart. If we are not doing that, then we need to do that. If we are, then we are doing our jobs.
Should school construction funds come from the general fund or would you prefer a new revenue source for school construction?
Probably at the moment, until I look harder at it, we should take it from the general fund, because that’s where it’s coming from already. If you want to look at the school choice thought, whatever funding we’re doing for those areas, figure out how to spend it on school construction.
Do you support borrowing money to pay for school construction?
No, I do not support borrowing.
Do you support merit pay for teachers?
How would you determine how merit pay was awarded?
It would depend on how well the students perform. An idea could be to have some sort of standard test to see how their performance is and base it off of that. I was taught by the public schools, so I’ve been where I couldn’t read until third grade.
Do you support sex-ed programs that include information on abstinence, contraception and HIV/STD prevention?
I support abstinence. As far as other children, they would have to get parental consent.
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