Voter’s Guide: Hillsboro School Board Position 2
|School Funding||Supports the bond, lobbying the State, potential future levy||Supports the bond, lobbying the state, potential future levy|
|Climate Change||Not an ‘ideologue’, address both sides||Science, not ‘hokum’|
|Contraceptives in school-based health clinics||Voted No
Supports contraceptives with parental notification
|If revisited, would vote yes|
On School Funding
Mark Watson supports the proposed facilities bond. For the operating budget, he said, “securing more stable funding in Salem is key.” Says if a levy were proposed, it should be in addition to stable funding from the state, “to make us more competitive with our neighbors.” He wants to see poll numbers before deciding whether or not it would be responsible to ask voters for a levy along with the bond. “If we go to the electorate with a levy, I’ll support it,” he said.
Watson also talked positively about the partnerships the Hillsboro School District has with the community, including the Hillsboro Schools Foundation, where his wife works.
Glenn Miller also supports the bond. He says the school district “desperately needs” the $400 million. Because of the district’s facilities needs, including new schools and seismic upgrades for existing schools, and because taxes will not increase, he does not see the bond as controversial and believes it will be approved by the current school board.
Miller thinks a levy will be a “tough sell” because, “the public already feels heavily taxed.” He believes that most parents would support a levy, but many members of the community do not have children in schools. Miller says the issue is not revenue, but the priorities of legislators in Salem. He lists advocates for public education in Salem – Janeen Sollman, Susan McClain, the Oregon School Boards Association. When asked about lobbying for the district in Salem, he said, “we’re doing it. They’re not hearing it. That’s a problem.” One potential solution he sees is a proposal by Rep. Julie Parrish to change state employees’ health insurance plans, saving the state money.
Miller believes the school board can alleviate some of the budget constraints in Hillsboro by reducing the operating reserve from 5% to 4% (about $2 million) over two years and by tapping into the $2 million Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) emergency fund.
On Climate Change
At a school board candidate forum, Miller said that, “being an Oregonian, environmental stewardship is part of the deal.” He went on to say that individuals have different opinions about “how far we should go,” but, “I want [students] to learn to be good stewards of the environment.”
Miller also says he wants students to be informed about the science behind the issue. “I want them to be able to fully discuss the issues,” he said. He said he does not describe himself as a “wild-eyed denier,” but said he does not ascribe to the “religion” of climate change. He added that being a good steward, saving water, also makes economic sense. He added that he is “not an ideologue in any way.”
Watson said that the overwhelming evidence points to humans causing climate change. At a recent candidate forum, he said that science needed to be evidence based and not “hokum, if you will.” He added that the divisiveness of national dialogue has made this into an “us versus them issue,” and not a science issue. Watson says, “this distracts from the fact that we’re changing the climate every single day.”
Watson has a short, simple response to whether or not school-based health centers should provide contraceptives: “Yes.” He said that this is one of the clearest points of differentiation between his positions and those of his opponent. “All the signs… all medical and legal experts think the board made the wrong decision,” Watson said.
Miller was on the school board when Virginia-Garcia requested permission to provide contraceptives at their school-based health clinic in Hillsboro. Miller voted no, although he supported a measure that would have allowed the clinic to provide contraceptives if they also notified parents.
If the issue were revisited, Miller says he would vote the same way. “I’m not sorry that we’re not imposing our views on a segment of the public that really doesn’t want it,” he said. He said the board tried to compromise by allowing contraceptives with parental notification. The clinic said “no,” he said, and, “Planned Parenthood said ‘hell no’.” He said that Planned Parenthood and aligned groups are supporting his opponent. “Their agenda is to reverse that decision because they [think they] know how to raise your kids better than you do…It’s as simple as that,” he said.