With the passage of Proposal A, our money is tied to enrollment
and controlled by the state. We must prioritize our expenditures.
It's extremely important the 15 schools in our district that were
not state accredited become accredited within the next two years.
We must encourage ownership of our schools by the community
and aggressively market our strength.
While the courts have ruled that an individual has certain reli-
gious rights, because of our diverse population, public educa-
tion should never endorse a specific religion.
Declining enrollment and tighter budgets. Still a high level of
mistrust in district. Erosion of public support for public educa-
Royal Oak must maintain a full range of programs that meet the
needs of all of its students. This will guide us through tough
choices. I stand for open, honest communication, constructive
criticism and keeping an objective orientation. This should help
Organized prayer, even "voluntary" organized prayer, has no
place in public schools. I have no problem with individual ac-
tions, religious or not, that do not obtrude on others. A volun-
tary moment of silence is acceptable only if it is universally
regarded as noncoercive. In practice, this might prove difficult
Maintain quality education with a declining financial income,
which is a result of declining enrollment.
We need to be frugal and creative about financing. This may be
achieved by addressing community needs and marketing our
schools for lifelong learners. The board needs to support market-
ing of our school program, advertise our strengths and make the
program most desirable to draw families with children to our
In the public school, there are problems because of the legisla-
tive regulation imposed on us. Until these rules are changed,
prayer in school must remain a personal activity.
Re-establishing the Citizen Communication Committee. Focus
our fiscal resources on students first. Consolidate school and city
elections in November. Remove school administrators from la-
bor contract negotiations with employees.
Bring interaction between the school district and the community.
Emphasize classroom learning and student skill development.
Save taxpayers dollars. Hire a qualified third-party professional to
represent the board.
I feel that public schools should educate children in acade-
mics, not in religion or values. I do recognize the legal con-
The district must decide what changes will actually improve
learning. Develop multicultural understanding and acceptance.
State issues — especially the school code, the efficiency of pro-
ficiency exams, stability of state funding and the threat of charter
schools, parochiaid and the voucher system.
I will seek changes which are backed by research and have been
demonstrated to improve learning. Strive for fairness and equity in
programs and policies to encourage and promote understanding.
Develop a working relationship with legislators in Lansing. I sup-
port a revision of the school code, not a repeal. I support a cheap-
er method of student assessment than the new exam. I'm
concerned school financing is not protected in economic down-
turns. I'm against vouchers and parochiaid.
I support the separation of church and state. Because our com-
munity is diverse, this approach makes perfect sense for our
district. I foresee few instances where a voluntary moment of si-
lence would be beneficial. However, there are exceptional in-
stances where a moment of silence seems appropriate, i.e.
when a classmate's death is being commemorated at gradua-
Safety in the schools. Increased test scores. Anticipating and
dealing with state changes in education. Ensuring fiscal respon-
Audit each school to determine what, if any, safety problems ex-
ist. Develop programs to educate students about violence. Ana-
lyze test results to determine areas of weakness and reevaluate
the curriculum. Become more involved in state-level committees,
stay informed about upcoming legislation and plan for future
changes. Implement cost-effective budgeting, using zero-based
budgeting on each line item, to allow the budget to reflect actual
costs rather than across-the-line increases from last year's fig-
I am opposed to prayer in school. I support separation of
church and state. Currently, every child has the right to pray
silently. A voluntary moment of silence is the first step to hav-
ing prayer in school.
Funding/state accreditation and declining enrollment.
Funding. Continued integration of technology into the curricu-
lurn in a cost-effective way. Resist efforts statewide to privatize
We have a finance committee that previews the budget and major
decisions impacting it. I have been on it in the past and would ex-
pect to be in the future. The matter of accountability of programs
is best accomplished through team evaluations of programs. Inte-
gration of technology is an ongoing and constant process. I have
actively participated in it and will do so if re-elected.
I strongly believe the Establishment Clause prohibits our institu-
tionalizing prayer in any way. I feel just as strongly that the free
exercise of religion requires that we allow students opportuni-
ties to pray in school on their own. A voluntary moment of si-
lence is a reasonable measure which neither establishes religion
nor denies those who wish to pray an opportunity to do so.
Our revenue increases at a rate of about 3.5 percent while our
expenditures continue to rise at approximately 12 percent.
Racial harmony and cultural awareness. Special education and
how to provide services with limited resources.
Continue thoroughly analyzing proposed budgets of the district
and meeting with business officers of the district in an attempt to
obtain competitive bidding in areas where it has not been intro-
duced, as well as to identify wasteful areas of expenditure. With
respect to diversity, I encourage programs relating to cultural
awareness and peaceful resolution of disputes.
It is essential that a separation of church and state is main-
tained. I am strongly opposed to prayer in school. I have no ob-
jection to a voluntary moment of silence for individual silent
prayer, meditation, studying or other silent activity selected by
the individual student.
Providing the best possible education for all our students. Two
issues are of special concern: financial uncertainty and the
movement to redefine public education.
I will actively work with our representatives in Lansing to make
protecting our school funding a high priority. I will also carefully
examine our current budgets looking for opportunities to cut
costs, but I will insist that decisions be made that have the least
impact on students. I will use all opportunities to influence educa-
tion decisions being made in Lansing. We must also strengthen
our district internally by encouraging greater parent and commu-
I do not support organized prayer in public schools. Instituting
official prayers will only violate important guarantees of separa-
tion between church and state. A voluntary moment of silence
can be appropriate, but I worry that unless it is carefully defined,
this could lead back to official prayer.