1. What makes you the most qualified person to hold this position?
I have never been a part of the education establishment and I have spent the last fifteen years studying education policy. Additionally, I will lead the State Department of Education from a parent’s perspective. The other candidates have had their chance from the inside to improve SC’s education but none of them have made any substantial changes. On the other hand, I have been on the outside and led successful movements that took on what appeared to be unbeatable odds and overcame those odds. This is what South Carolina needs in its next Superintendent of Education.
2. What will be your top three priorities if you are elected?
STOP COMMON CORE because every child is unique.
The Superintendent has the authority to call for a review and rewrite of state standards and that will be my first priority in office. Taxpayers and public school parents are fed up with this nationalization of curriculum that dumbs down education to teach to tests instead of to children. And for what? To push a left-wing agenda of collectivism over individual achievement and test scores over knowledge. I oppose Common Core and my election will be a powerful mandate to end Common Core, not only here in South Carolina but across the country.
TRUTH IN TEXTBOOKS because school should be about learning, not indoctrination.
With Common Core comes textbooks that more and more are reflecting a far-left agenda disdainful of our Judeo-Christian values, the U.S. Constitution and basic facts of American history. Whether it is suggesting our Founders were racists and misogynists or pushing environmentalist propaganda, schools are being used as vehicles to force a radical, far-left “progressive” agenda on students. Schools should be about learning and not indoctrination. As Superintendent, I will convene a task force of experts to review South Carolina textbooks and expose the falsehoods and bias therein. There is no reason why a South Carolina student should not receive an objective education.
SCHOOL VOUCHERS AND TAX CREDITS because every child deserves a chance.
South Carolina’s schools will not be improved by standards created by Barack Obama’s Education Department, but through marketplace of competition. I believe the best way to achieve this is through school vouchers or tax credits to assist in paying private school tuition or help with homeschooling expenses. I will fight for this parental authority as Education Superintendent. Every parent has the right to have educational choices beyond the public school system. The marketplace, not government, is the key to improving public education in South Carolina.
3a. For non-incumbents: How would your approach to your job differ from the incumbent’s?
Superintendent Zais campaigned against Common Core and then spent the next three years implementing it. He committed our state to Common Core through the NCLB Waiver in 2012 and committed our state to the Common Core tests in the same year. He repeatedly told parents and taxpayers there was nothing he could do to stop Common Core while he worked to push through the Common Core Science Standards last year. As Superintendent of Education, I will not pay lip service to conservative causes just to get elected. I will fight for conservative causes and use all the power within the office of Superintendent to advance the platform that I have laid out in this campaign.
4. Describe at least one significant political position you hold that would clash with your political base.
I do not support the Read to Succeed Act because it adds more bureaucracy to an already top-heavy system. It is expensive and further micromanages the classroom. Teachers need more academic freedom, not less.
5. Have you ever been convicted of a crime, been disciplined by a professional licensing board or organization or had an ethics complaint filed against you? If so, please give the details.
6. Have you ever filed for bankruptcy or been delinquent on your federal, state or local taxes? If so, please give the details.
I have filed for extensions on federal income taxes in the past and I have been late paying federal and state income taxes in the past. There were times when our family business struggled during the economic downturn and it was difficult to recoup, but we did, and everything is paid and up-to-date now.
7. Are there any personal details about you that voters would be interested in knowing?
I love the Lord above all else and my Christian worldview informs all of my decisions. I also love my family and friends and I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful group of new friends that I have made over the last year as we have fought together to stop Common Core in South Carolina.
In my free time, I like to work in gardens, watch my son compete in golf tournaments, and ride on the back of my husband’s Harley Davidson.