The education reform laws on the ballot and our schools chronic under-funding issues are what motivated me to run for District 13 House Seat A. I ask voters to support me because as an online teacher in a charter school, I bring a unique perspective in a time when our state education policies are in a state of chaotic uncertainty. Id like to point out that I have not always been a teacher: I worked for Pepsi for eight years and owned a small business for several years. I understand how important it is to have a strong local economy and that small business owners need all the help and deference they can get, but schools are important to our society, too.
While my opponent voted for a tax cut for corporations and upper-income earners, the annual levy elections weve all become used to underscore the reality that tax breaks at the state level often have to be made up at the local level. While many of our legislators have a business background, we have significantly less representation from the service and professional sectors. In particular, only a few of our legislators are educators, and to my knowledge, there is no legislator who has worked in a charter school or has been an online teacher. My background brings a needed perspective to the Statehouse in crafting education policy that affects us all.
The so-called Luna laws, which are supported by my opponent and most other Republican candidates this year, are an example of a broader, often corporate-backed school reform movement seen across the nation. The question for local government is how much or how little to embrace this movement: Is buying students laptops and mandating online courses for all students appropriate or unnecessary? What are the advantages and disadvantages of online and blended courses vs. traditional courses and what role should for-profit educational management companies play in our school system? Should the state build a digital infrastructure for online curriculum or should it leave that to course providers? These are tough questions to answer and my experience has provided me with knowledge that most of our legislators lack, and that I believe Idaho needs.
I want to save Idaho taxpayers $180 million on the flawed Luna laws. I have the knowledge and experience to effectively fight to create superior education policies for our state, for our students, and for our future.
Clayton Trehal, a Nampa Democrat, is a candidate for House Seat A in legislative District 13.