EDMOND — Following are questions and answers about issues facing Oklahoma from Senate District 41 candidates incumbent Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, and Independent Richard Prawdzienski:
Name: Clark Jolley
Political party: Republican
How to contact: email@example.com
Q: What specific education reforms do you believe still need to be enacted?
Condoleezza Rice and Jeb Bush are both correct: Education is the civil rights issue of the 21st century. As a senator and parent who is passionate about education, I have led and supported many reforms of our public education system. This last session I also led the charge to hold off on any additional reforms because the volume that had passed needed to be implemented correctly before we considered additional reforms. I still believe we should refrain from enacting any additional reforms that keep shifting the responsibilities of teachers and should focus any reforms instead on governance and regulatory relief. So to begin, we need to make adjustments to make our reforms better and more fair and accurate. As the Senate author of the recent reforms, I plan on amending the A-F Report Card law to address some of the concerns raised by Edmond Superintendent David Goin regarding the first year’s implementation. Additionally, we need to take a serious look at the governance structure in Oklahoma to reduce duplication of effort and make sure the mission of the State Department of Education meets the needs of Oklahoma’s school children and the teachers who teach them. We should look at increasing school choice to provide more families the opportunity to select the educational venue that best fits their child’s learning style. Lastly, it may also be time we look at doing a rewrite of Oklahoma’s education code to simplify and reduce mandates on local districts.
Q: What new programs or ideas would you bring to the Capitol to help create new jobs in the state?
Government shouldn’t be creating jobs. We need to continue promoting the free market and let them create jobs. Oklahoma is leading the nation in job creation because of the policies we have promoted to get government out of the way and allow private business to flourish. Some ways Oklahoma’s government can get more out of the way? We have to continue to address the high cost of worker’s compensation. We also must continue to reduce regulations that are from a different era and continue to modernize government to help get government out of the way. Additionally, we need to look at continually making our tax environment one that promotes growth and doesn’t penalize investment in the state.