The Granite Board of Education will see a change in membership this election only if incumbent Judy Larson is defeated by her challenger, David F. Anderson, in Precinct 4.
Robert Arnold is unchallenged in Precinct 5.Larson, a West Valley homemaker who has served on the board one term, garnered 59 percent of the vote in a primary runoff with Anderson and Horace Dalrymple, who was eliminated from the contest. She said she qualifies as a school board member as a caring citizen who works hard to study issues and to be open and available to patrons.
Anderson, 38, is employed by
Hercules as a prototype developer. He was awarded the Obert C. Tanner Award for Excellence while a student at Salt Lake Community College and calls himself a "good problem solver."
Arnold, who was appointed to the board to fill the unexpired term of J. Dale Christensen, says he has no personal agenda and believes he has a "balanced approach to problem-solving." He has been involved in education for the past 25 years.
Each of the three opposes elimination of the sales tax on food, and all are hoping to see more use of technology in the Granite District.
The candidates also are in agreement on the issue of school prayer, which is a matter of concern in the district because of a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union seeking an end to prayers for graduation and other school events. Each sees the issue as a question of student rights to free speech and exercise of religion. Students in individual schools should be able to make the choice as they plan graduation rites.
This year, the Granite board was forced to cut back several programs to meet budget constraints. Among programs trimmed was special education, a move that raised an outcry among parents of handicapped young-sters.
Asked if they would support an increase in special-education funding, even if other programs had to be cut, the candidates responded as follows:
Larson: "I don't think it is fair for any one group to dominate school funding. Because of the lack of federal funds, which were promised for special education, most districts have to subsidize their special-education programs. This often impacts on other district programs. I feel a responsibility to balance this as much as possible."
Anderson: "Special education is very important to those children who need help. It would depend on the programs that are affected. I have not seen a complete budget for the past few years to compare, and without that needed information, cannot give an answer."
Arnold: "I feel there is greater need for special-education funding to improve the quality of education for all students. To increase that funding, we should pursue cost-saving measures in all programs and appeal to the state and federal governments for funding that is required to meet federal guidelines."