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    VOTE: November 3rd, 2015    
       
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VoteMikePruz (Q&A)

WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE TO KIPP/DEMOCRATIC RELATIONSHIP?

  • A local paper left me a message asking if I had a comment about my competitor's campaign expense report showing expenses to the Democratic Party in a non-partisan election.
  • (My Response)

WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE TO THE COLORADOAN ENDORSEMENTS?

  • Despite my proven record of success, I was unfairly characterized as not knowledgeable about the inner workings of the district.
  • My strength of adding to the board's expertise was portrayed as a weakness. If the goal is 7 clones on the board, let's just elect the superintendent directly and save time and money by eliminating unnecessary discussion.
  • Apparently government officials (PSD and thus my competitor) breaking the law by violating the FCPA (Fair Campaign Practices Act) and citizens (me) protecting the public by finding and fixing the issue are of no importance.
  • I was the only one who pointed out that three of the questions from their questionnaire made false assumptions (see resources tab).
  • One member of their board didn't even know about the sport complex in the draft long range facilities proposal.
  • (Detailed Response)

WHAT IS YOUR POSITION ON STATE MANDATED TESTS?

  • I've opt-ed my kids out every year and thus I fully support any parent/student that wants to opt-out, though I do encouge those considering college to take the ACT.
  • I support MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) testing becaue they give immediate results for student and teacher, can be taken in low-stress environments, can be taken as part of advisory without taking away from core curriculum time, is accurate under non-standard conditions, can be taken any time, can be repeated as often as needed, but most importantly MAP testing is designed to find out what the student knows.
  • Since, the district no longer provides an opt-out form, a blank version of the one I used last year is below.
  • (Standardized Test Opt Out Form)
  • <Parent Refusal FAQ>

WHAT IS YOUR POSITION ON COMMON CORE?

  • I do not support Common Core as implemented by the Stated of Colorado and thus indirectly by PSD.
  • Common Core should be used as its name implies, to provide a common core. Instead, Common Core is used as one-size fits all learning model for the entire state.
  • Middle Schools use Standards Based Grading and I've heard from several teachers that teaching to the "proficient" level leaves no time to explore any local issues outside the standard.
  • <PSD Common Core>
  • <Colorado Common Core>

WHAT IS YOUR POSITION ON VOUCHERS?

  • Using public tax dollars to provide vouchers for private schools is no different than using public tax dollars to provide free and reduced lunch vouchers to the cafeteria contractor. Both are a way of providing public money to a private for-profit entity in exchange for a valuable service not provided directly by PSD.
  • If PSD is providing the best education at the best price, vouchers are nothing to fear. Does it really matter if the accreditation organization gets its public money from a private school voucher or charter school funding?
  • <Accreditation Costs>
  • <Training Costs>
  • FINAL THOUGHT: If public tax dollars were restricted to only public entities, then PSD could not bond the new schools, since public monies would be used to pay interest to the private for-profit investors.

WHAT IS YOUR POSITION ON FRACKING AND ASPHALT PLANTS?

WHAT IS YOUR POSITION ON BB (MARIJUANA REFUND)?

  • At the League of Women Voters forum, the candidates were asked about their stance on ballot issue BB. At the time I hadn't received my election blue book and was undecided. Now that I have received my election blue book and have had a chance to read it, I can say that I'm not supportive of BB because:
  • 1) The blue book is misleading in that it says "$12.0 million will be spent to fund the state programs listed below," but there is no such legal requirement. In fact, per HB 15-1367 and CRS 39-28-8-501 funds could be spent on industrial hemp and seeds, any law enforcement training (not just impaired-driver), creating a new division for marijuana financial services, to increase the expertise and knowledge among prosecutors, and several others not listed in the blue book.
  • 2) There is no financial analysis of how much is needed for critical school construction, how the $40M will be allocated, nor if it will be enough.
  • 3) Those on free and reduced lunch and fixed income need their refunds.
  • If BB were simply written to use 100% of funds as a repayment of the negative factor, I would have been supportive.
  • (Blue Boook Non-Binding List of 10 Items)
  • (Blue Book Legally Lists "SUCH AS")
  • <HB-1367>
  • <CRS 39-28.8-501>

HOW DOES CITIZENS UNITED RELATE TO SCHOOLS?

  • During the PSD Student ViewPoints forum, the issue of how Citizens United applied to the school board came up after my turn, so I will respond here.
  • Citizens United granted businesses an almost unlimited right to spend money in political elections. The only real restriction is that publicly traded businesses must still act in the best interest of shareholder value (Dodge v Ford, 1919). Thus, companies use their Citizens United rights to campaign for politicians that will increase their shareholder value.
  • I believe Citizens United is the biggest threat to the school district because it allows testing companies, text book companies, curriculum providers, and others to buy federal and state politicians that will limit local control of school boards.
  • Further, anytime the school district (or anyone) buys from a private business, some of that money can go to Citizens United campaigning to buy candidates that will support legislation favorable to businesses and detrimental to school districts (or private citizens).
  • This is why I am running my campaign on my own funding -- so I don't owe anything to any other person or special interest group and can focus on serving the people.
  • The email below is from an individual representing his opinion as a private citizen, who, in his professional life, happens to be a Senior Instructor Emeritus in the Political Science Department at the University of Colorado Boulder.
  • (Expert Example)

WHAT IS YOUR POSITION ON START TIMES?

I have one child that has no problem getting up early and one that struggles. While I believe the generalities about later start-time are true, I also believe human diversity is too great to force a one size fits all start-time solution on everyone. PSD needs to provide for all students, not just the average student. The discussion shouldn't be about which no-option start-time to use, but how to provide multiple start-time solutions to meet the community need.

WHAT IS YOUR POSITION ON THE FOOTBALL MILITARY CONTROVERSY?

The team has followed the district's process and accepted the district's decisions.

Our job, as adults, is to let our children enjoy playing ball now, and not ruin their season by creating unnecessary controversy and distractions. The season is about the athletes, not about us. If we want to play politics, we can do that after the season is over.

Thus, my only comment on the subject is what I was taught as a student-athlete:

If it isn't important enough for a player to bring up before the end of the last practice before the game, then it isn't important enough for anyone else to bring it up until the first practice after game day. Or, in this case, since the team accepted the district's pre-season decision, I will honor the team by waiting until the first business day after the season is over.

HOW WILL YOU ADDRESS SCHOOL FUNDING ISSUES?

I HAVE ALREADY SUCCEEDED in helping improve the school funding situation, by actively opposing TIF (Tax Increment Financing) for the last several years. TIF has been hurting school funding by creating additional demand without providing additional funding. Thanks to those of us who exposed TIF's downside, this year, the state passed HB-1348, that grants school districts a vote on future TIF projects.

I CONTINUE TO work towards improving the school funding situation by advocating for an improved property tax model which will provide more stable and secure school funding while reducing sales taxes to make Colorado businesses more competitive with the Internet. State Senator John Kefalas has already responded to my proposal with, "Thank you for your bill suggestions, which I will take into [consideration] for next session."

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