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Utah State School Board District 3

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    Brett Garner
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Matt Hymas
    (Rep)

Biographical Information

How do your background and skills prepare you to become a member of the State Board of Education?

What will be your priorities in addressing Utah’s education system?

A proposed constitutional amendment to allow income tax revenue to be used for pur-poses other than education. Does the proposed change provide for adequate funding for K-12 and higher education?

Do Utah schools spend too much time testing? Are there other methods of evaluation that might work better?

What difference will it make now that state school board candidates will run in partisan elections? Should local school board elections also be partisan?

Campaign Email Address brett@brettgarner.org
Campaign Phone (801) 573-4759
Twitter @brett_L_G
Current Employment Full-time parent Previously: 2016-2018 Petzl America 2014-2016 Sands Rugs 2007-2013 Preservation Utah 2007 Utahns for Public Schools
Education Bachelor of Science, Political Science Certificate of International Relations University of Utah, 2005
Campaign Website https://brettgarner.org/
As the husband of a special education teacher and coordinator, and the son of a kindergarten teacher who retired after 40 years in the classroom, I have witnessed the dedication, stress and absolute importance of public education in the lives of so many in our community. I know what it means to depend on a decision by the State Board, and I believe I can be a voice for teachers and parents during this uncertain time. I have also forged relationships fighting for better education policies, including opposing school vouchers, increasing funding, and reopening safely, that will help me understand the issues in more depth. Additionally, I have studied the economic impact of educational policies and funding decisions, through my university studies and beyond, and would make decisions based on the best evidence, after hearing all relevant perspectives.
Safe school reopening The most important thing we must do is protect the health and well-being of our students, teachers, and their families. Our decisions must be based on research and best practices there are available. Increase transparency and accessibility My goal will be to visit all of the 73 schools in Board District 3 during the two years of my service. I would be more open and public about items on the agenda of every board meeting, mostly through more effective use of social media and newsletters. A high regard for teachers Too many teachers walk away from the profession because they don’t feel respected. We need to pay education professionals more, but also move away from high-stakes testing that doesn’t reflect their efforts or give us the data we need. I will work to reduce class sizes, provide more support to aides, and encourage more teachers to keep working.
No it does not. Numerous studies from the Utah Foundation, Voices for Utah Children, and others have shown that we have consistently decreased our budgetary investments in education over the past three decades and passage of this amendment would only exacerbate that. While this is mostly a decision that the legislature would make, I would not support opening up the earmark without introducing more progressiveness in our income tax rate or other solutions that would constitutionally guarantee that we are putting our students' needs first.
We need more innovative education assessment models, more than school letter grades based on high-stakes testing. The school board should collect and publish data on attendance (which they do somewhat), teacher turnover, and social-emotional culture and climate metrics. Other states, such as Colorado, California, and Massachusetts have models that we can look to adapt to better measure school quality.
I do not and did not support making state school board elections partisan. I believe that the legislature erred when they chose to do it. School board elections should be non-partisan and open to all candidates. Ranked-choice voting would improve this situation greatly. I am proud to have the support of the incumbent, Laurieann Thorpe, in the general election. Honestly, I admit she would continue to do a much better job than I would, but, because she was eliminated during the Republican state convention, I humbly believe I am the best choice of the two remaining options.
Campaign Mailing Address 715 Country Club
Stansbury, Ut 84074
Campaign Email Address mwhymas@gmail.com
Campaign Phone (801) 440-9145
Current Employment High School Director
Education Bachelor of Science: Mathematics Teaching Master of Business Administration Master of Arts: Educational Leadership
My father has been teaching math in the Granite School District for over 30 years. It has been my pleasure to listen to his experiences and learn from his time in the classroom. His teaching had such an impact on me that I also went into education. After teaching math for four years I stepped into administration and I am currently in my 10th year as an administrator. I know that education in our communities is the foundation for progress. With my experiences and desires to serve our Utah communities, I am prepared to serve on the State Board of Education.
-Serve the diverse educational needs of families -Empower local professionals who best understand the needs of their students -Find the most effective testing methods -Improve feedback given by the state
Utah is already struggling to pay teachers an appropriate salary, give a sufficient budget for classroom supplies, or stay caught up with the technological needs of educating students. I would need more information before even considering reducing this revenue source from our schools.
-The problem is not necessarily the amount of time testing. In my opinion, the more pressing problem is with the tests themselves. We need to find a test that gives relevant feedback to schools. We need a test that can analyze student learning, accurately report student growth, and approximate the strength of a school’s curriculum.

-There are other methods of evaluation that could prove beneficial. However, with certain subject areas, testing has proven to be the most effective. I am open to conversations about the future of student evaluations in the State of Utah.
-Partisan elections allow individuals the abilitiy to see where the candidates general ideals align. This could be helpful to those who do not know how or where to gather information on candidates.

-I am open to discussions on local school board elections. However, it might be wise to see the consequences of state school board elections and if it is feasible to open partisan elections to local school boards.