Citizens For Delaware Schools

Challenger:  Joshua W. Hudson

Why are you the best candidate for School Board?

I am a parent of 2 school aged children in the district. I am highly involved in the school and the school activities that my kids are involved in, and I stay educated on the issues our kids face. I have a long history of leadership as I have served in the military for 25 years. I have led a life of service and I know what leadership looks like and how to exemplify it.

How will you prioritize improvement to student academic achievement, particulary reading and math?

My campaign slogan is “Back to Basics”. Our single most important issue is figuring out how to properly educate our students. I believe our focus needs to focus on the basics: Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. In life, we typically learn to crawl, walk, then run. In education, if we don’t focus on getting our students to crawl or walk first, then they will never run. In education, “running” involves mastering the basics. If you haven’t mastered them by the “walk” phase, then you can’t move forward to expand into STEM & other vital areas = Single point failure in our education system.

What steps will you pursue to strengthen the connection between parents and the school system?

Strengthening our connection starts with welcoming feedback and engagement from our parents. Nationally there have been many school boards that vilify, and even arrest parents for speaking against policies, procedures and curriculum decisions. If you want parents to be involved and engaged, then you have to welcome their voice.

How will you ensure that parents will be made aware of proposed or new regulations or policies that affect their children?

Transparency is key in this endeavor. This must be discussed at school board meetings, publications, and even phone messages. Unfortunately we see at both the state and national level that level that legislation is not clean. Therefore, it is overwhelming and convoluted, and people don’t even know what is actually “IN” a proposed bill. We need to be transparent and explain upcoming legislation in laymen’s terms.

What steps should be taken at schools to create a safer learning environment?

I feel that our schools are fairly safe with regard to entrance security, but this is an ever-evolving process. Despite that statement, events such as Uvalde, Texas bring to light that local and State law enforcement must be properly trained to respond should there become an issue. Additionally, addressing mental health issues in students and staff early is paramount in preventing incidents as most school shootings seem to stem from individuals with mental health concerns that were recognized earlier and not acted on.

What changes should be made, if any, to local and state funding to maximize the amount that goes directly to producing academic achievement?

Unfortunately, in all instances when tax money leaves the local area, the same denominations are not returned back to the local area in the end. We see this particularly in education with the NEA and other Federal Programs. There needs to be a movement towards retaining local dollars and not sending them up to the state and federal levels so that $1 worth of tax money returns $1 worth of investment.

How will you commit to increasing classroom transparency - including but not limited to curriculum - with parents?

Once again, I believe in transparency. The community needs to know what projects the district is working on and parlay this information. Parents and taxpayers need to be permitted to be involved and have a voice in the process. Obviously, this happens in Referendums, but it also needs to happen prior to a referendum being put out for vote.

How will providing curricula that defines people as oppressors and oppressed based on group identity such as race or sex either help or hinder students in their interactions with the world around them?

The focus of our curriculum needs to be on the basics of education. Education should not be political nor divisive. If we educate all of our children well, they will all have the opportunity to achieve greatness should they be willing to put in the work. By dividing and grouping people on the lines of race, identity, socioeconomic status etc., we are dividing people. This does not serve to help our students in any way that has a positive outcome.

In what circumstances would it be considered acceptable for material that contains visual or written depictions of sexual acts to be presented to students in the classroom or in school libraries?

First and foremost, any sexual content or topic should be age appropriate and educational, not persuasive. Children are highly impressionable and as such we need to be responsible in the content presented not to persuade or suggest ideas that are not something that children of certain ages are not concerned with. It is irresponsible. As far as available material in classrooms and libraries, I feel that this is not necessary nor appropriate to provide in schools. Almost every kid has access to the internet. Should they choose to be interested in such content they can explore that outside of school.