- Santa Clarita Gazette
With the GOP staring down a blue wave in November, the numbers are not working in favor of CA-25’s Steve Knight. While the district was once solidly Republican, Democrats had 3,000 more registered voters in 2016. Hillary Clinton won the district by six points. The Los Angeles Times has declared the race for this seat the second-most competitive in the state.
Facing no other Republicans in the jungle primary, Knight could have tried to better reflect his constituents. Instead, he voted for Obamacare to be repealed. He also supported an early version of the GOP tax plan despite the fact that it phased “out the ability to deduct personal casualty losses from wildfires and earthquakes… but [kept] the deduction for damage from hurricanes and floods”. He co-sponsored the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act which “would allow any person with a concealed carry permit from one state to carry their weapon in any other state.”
Knight’s campaign was presented with three questions about federal education policy but did not send a response. His opponent in the November election did respond and her answers are as follows:
No Child Left Behind and the Every Student Succeeds Act both increased reliance on standardized testing within our classrooms. Do you support the rights of parents to opt their children out of this testing? Will you support efforts to end programs that encourage teachers to teach to a test?
Katie Hill: I recognize that we need to move away from our reliance on standardized testing but we need to find ways to assess our teachers, school districts, and find gaps that need to be addressed. I would be in favor of supporting a more holistic view of schools and programs that ensure that teachers do not simply teach to the test.
Federal legislation authorizes “Congress to contribute up to 40% of the average per-pupil expenditure” for mandated special education services. Unfortunately, this funding has never materialized. Will you lead efforts to adequately fund programs and services for those with special education needs?
Katie Hill: I am in full support of funding special education and I think it is a shame that we have not ensured that these students are taken care of. I will ensure that all public education is fully funded including all programs and services for those with special needs.
Do you support the NAACP’s call for a moratorium on charter schools?
Katie Hill: I am a proud advocate for public schooling. Charter schools take public resources away from public schools while leaving behind the most resource-intensive students. I am not opposed to the existence of other school options but they should not be taking public resources.
Carl Petersen is a parent and special education advocate, elected member of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council and was a Green Party candidate in LAUSD’s District 2 School Board race. During the campaign, he was endorsed by Network for Public Education (NPE) Action and Dr. Diane Ravitch called him a “strong supporter of public schools.” Opinions are his own.