I Completed The NCAE-PAC 2022 General Assembly Candidate Questionnaire | Eastern North Carolina Now | ...so you don't have to.

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    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the John Locke Foundation. The author of this post is Dr. Terry Stoops.

    NCAE-PAC 2022 General Assembly Candidate Questionnaire

    Questionnaires are for internal NCAE purposes only and will not be distributed to the public.

    Completing a questionnaire does not guarantee an endorsement. However, NCAE will not consider endorsing candidates without a completed questionnaire.


    To what extent do you believe that your values and policy positions align with the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE)? Are there examples of issues or situations when you have disagreed with NCAE? Provide examples to illustrate your response.

    My values do not align with the NCAE. But that's ok. The NCAE only represents around 17% of the teacher workforce. My values align with the other 83%.

    List your top five policy/legislative priorities in order. If elected, how do you plan to get your legislative priorities enacted?

  1. Expand parental school choice to ensure supply meets the strong demand for educational options.
  2. Champion academic and financial transparency and accountability through the passage of a Parents' Bill of Rights.
  3. Declare March as "Learning Loss Awareness Month" to affirm that learning loss is real and not a "false construct."
  4. Eliminate the "dues checkoff" that allows labor unions to withdraw dues directly from employee paychecks.
  5. Create a granite monument outside of the Legislative Office Building featuring this quote: "No organization bears more responsibility for the destruction wrought on our children than the far-left NCAE. Some kids may never recover. Yet this anti-student, anti-science political operation refuses to even acknowledge that hundreds of thousands of children have suffered learning loss over the past year. It's despicable, disturbing, and, more than anything, heartbreaking." - Sen. Deanna Ballard, 2021

    How have you shown your support for public schools in previous elected positions or personal activities?

    I paid tens of thousands of dollars in property, sales, and income taxes, and it failed to lead to any meaningful improvements in public education. I then complained about the lack of meaningful improvement in public education, only to hear the NCAE complain that I needed to pay more in property, sales, and income taxes to fund schools "adequately." Speaking of that...

    Do you believe the North Carolina General Assembly adequately funds or underfunds public education? Provide specific examples to support your viewpoint.

    The term "adequate" is vague and subjective. I implore the NCAE overlords to define "adequate" in terms of per-student expenditures and include the corresponding tax increases needed to achieve its definition of "adequate" funding.

    If you believe the NCGA is underfunding public education, what is the greatest challenge(s) and barrier(s) to increasing funding for public education? If elected, what would you do to work toward resolving those challenges and obstacles?

    So far these questions seem to have a bizarre obsession with funding. Any chance we can talk about student achievement? Does the NCAE plan to say anything about the fact that a majority of children in North Carolina cannot read at grade level?

    Recent discussions have emerged in North Carolina about Critical Race Theory (CRT) and books centering on gender identity. What role do you believe politicians, parents, and educators play in deciding curriculum content and materials, including books for our students?

    Let's be open and honest about the issue. Would the NCAE support the creation of a special designation for schools and districts that openly incorporate CRT and gender identity into the curriculum?

    If elected, how would you lead the conversation of race and class in our growing diverse state?

    I would begin by saying, "Groups like the NCAE believe that your identity is inseparable from your gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. I want you to know that anyone can be a successful student, regardless of your identity or circumstances. Your demographics are not your destiny. Moreover, I will hold every district school to the highest standards or it will be closed. The days of allowing perpetually underperforming district schools to operate in perpetuity are over."

    If elected, how would you collaborate with your constituents, specifically parents and educators, to benefit students?

    I would let parents know that I work on behalf of 83% of teachers who are not members of NCAE.

    NCAE's legislative agenda is a comprehensive plan to address the needs of students, educators, and former educators across the state.

    I noticed that you omitted "parents" and "families" from the list.

    Do you believe private schools receiving public dollars should have the same or similar accountability and reporting requirements as public schools?

    Unlike district schools, these private schools are accountable to the parents whose children they serve. When these private schools fail, they are subject to the ultimate accountability measure: closure. Are district schools held to that standard?

    As a state legislator, how would you strengthen accountability and transparency for all charter school programs and funding?

    Charter schools are accountable to both parents and the taxpayers. School districts are not. That is why I support strengthening accountability and transparency for all school district programs and funding.

    Do you believe the state's current tax structure provides adequate resources to ensure equal access to high-quality public education for all students? What, if any, changes would you propose?

    There you go again with the word "adequate."

    As a legislator, would you support or oppose legislation designed to take away an educator's ability to advocate for students and public schools even if it's required as part of a teacher evaluation and why?

    Do you really expect the typical legislative candidate to be able to answer this hilariously opaque question?

    As a legislator, how would you engage with NCAE, its leadership, and members about education policy issues? If yes, how?

    I have no problem engaging with NCAE about education policy issues, knowing that it only represents around 17% of the teacher workforce in the state.

    Recognizing that it is impossible to be an expert in all things, please let us know who your two or three most trusted education advisers or policy experts are? What is it about these individuals that lead you to value their judgment? If there are organizations or think tanks that you look to for guidance on education policy, please indicate those as well.

    Terry Stoops and Bob Luebke of the John Locke Foundation have seen a million faces and rocked them all.

    Can you provide your campaign's winning strategy to include fundraising, field, and communication overview without giving away confidential information?

    Sure. Would you also like a list of my donors, emails from Republican Party staff, correspondence with advisors, my wife's cell phone number, the social security numbers of my children, my blood type, a list of my prescription and OTC medication, and permission to modify my last will and testament?

    Are there any additional comments you would like to make?

    I have no additional comments, but I will recommend an article: Top reasons why you should cancel your North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) membership
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