Education is a big deal to me because I am the first college graduate in my family. I have been very fortunate to be able to help all five of my children get college degrees; two have Doctorates in Pharmacy and work in our family businesses.


We are very fortunate to have two excellent schools of higher education in southern Utah with Dixie State College and SUU. These schools are cooperating very well together on a number of fronts and have different missions, which allow the students here in our area to have excellent higher education choices. They also are a big catalyst for economic development in Southern Utah.


I am a product of the public school system in Beaver, and my kids have all gone through the public school system in Iron County. I continue to hear from a number of sources that the school districts in Washington and Iron are the best in the state. I have worked very hard to stay connected to the teachers and administrators in my District while serving in the legislature.


Over the past few years I have met with every school faculty in my district and most of them twice; getting their invaluable input and answering their questions. I also meet regularly with the rural Superintendents at the Capitol during the session.


I understand and appreciate the role that charter schools play in our public school system and also meet with their faculties and representatives so that I know and understand what their needs are. The charter schools in our area offer our parents and students good options from which to choose. I would love to be able to say that I could give education all the money they need, but as long as 70% of our state is in the control of the federal government, we will always have a funding issue with education. Until that changes, we need to continue to be frugal and do more with less like we have been.


As a general rule, I am always in favor of local control. I trust our elected school boards, mayors, city councils, county commissioners, etc., to make good decisions. I am constantly looking for ways in the Legislature to give local officials more power to act in a way that they think will most benefit the constituents that they represent.