We asked all candidates to fill out a survey and our group has chosen to endorse, recommend or not recommend based on their answers. Here are Julie Powell’s responses that shows that she is good representative for our teachers, students and parents!
What are your plans on keeping our public schools funded and increasing educators salaries?
I feel very protective of the section of the Utah State constitution that basically reserves state income tax for education–I am an attorney at one of the most respected law firms in Utah, am connected with the legal community, and can effectively advocate to protect this at the state level. At the local district level (the position I am running for), I would like to prioritize competitive teacher salaries when it comes to making funding decisions.
How can we attract more candidates to apply for positions in education?
I am a big advocate for teacher morale. I support competitive teacher pay, providing adequate professional days, etc. At the local level, I additionally want the school board to ensure that we appoint morale-building administrative leaders and discourage top-down, authoritative-style leadership. School board members should model this type of leadership as well.
When will class size be addressed and how can we decrease these high numbers of students per teacher?
I am a big advocate for decreasing class sizes. At the state level, this is tied to adequately funding education. At the local school board level, I will prioritize funding decisions to minimize class sizes.
How can we provide free summer lunches to students in need that are not close to a Title 1 school?
It is not uncommon for businesses to donate for things like this. It should be easy to advocate for this.
How will you vote on voucher/school choice bills?
I have a nuanced view on this. It would be easier to call me to discuss.
What are your views on the Summit program or programs like it being implemented in our schools?
This is a big reason I am running. Summit does not work for a significant subset of children, and it is vital that the public schools serve the needs of all children. Our District just hired a new Superintendent who said he was one of two people who brought Summit to our district, is a huge promoter of Summit, and I personally heard him act fairly unconcerned about its issues. He thinks parents just need to be more educated, that kids get over their big issues with it, and that the system just needs to be tweaked. This is basically the position of top-level district leadership and many of our current school board, but I (as well as many teachers and administrators) see issues much deeper than this.
What are ways we can include more people being represented in our curriculum?
I am a big advocate for stakeholder review committees. I think we can do better to proactively let parents know about them.
How can we compensate teachers for the extra hours they put in (grading, planning etc) outside of contract hours?
I am interested in community input on this. It has always bothered me that the best teachers put in so much extra unpaid time. I know many parents feel the same.
What have you personally done to support teachers/public education?
I am a well-known fixture in my kids’ schools. I have literally volunteered for practically everything, including advocating for classroom donations, helping teachers with class parties, regular classroom helper time, helping with field trips, etc. I really want to help our teachers out. Also, along with many parents in our school community, I supported legislation that protects our state constitution’s provision that keeps state income tax for education funding.
What is the role of USBE/local board? What areas do the boards govern and how are you uniquely equipped to contribute?
USBE generally sets standards, and the local boards govern the local school districts. Local boards do things like approve tax bonds, make funding decisions, are involved in employment decisions, make school boundary decisions, approve local curriculum, address local stakeholder concerns, etc.
What can be done to help our unhoused population of students in our schools?
Our district has actually addressed this–they’ve done a great job opening Teen Centers in our secondary schools.
How will you show your commitment to public education outside of your role as an elected official?