Gregory Spiers

Greggory

Gregory Spiers

Running for:
Jurisdiction:
Political Party Republican
Campaign Website: https://gregforbese.com
985-981-2307
P.O. Box 1197, Springfield, LA 70462
Candidate Bio:

FAMILY:  Greg and his wife Renee have been married for over 20 years, with 3 sons Caleb, Levi, and Seth who attend the middle and high schools in Springfield, LA.  The family attends the Livingston campus of The Church International.

EDUCATION:  Greg is a product of Louisiana public schools having attended Amite Elementary, Amite Westside and graduated from Amite High School class of 1995.  After military service, he attended Southeastern Louisiana University where he graduated with a BS degree in Computer Science and received the Distinguished Computer Science Gradate of 2002 award.

CAREER:  After high school, Greg served his country where he became a U.S. Navy SEAL and deployed to Southern Europe.  Since graduating from SLU, he has spent the better part of his professional career as an IT consultant, working with various state revenue agencies including Louisiana, Colorado, and Missouri.  Greg also served as a teacher and football coach at Ponchatoula High School in Tangipahoa Parish.  Through his own experience as an educator, along with counsel from numerous other parents, teachers, and school administrators, he has learned the systems and processes that improve the quality of education, and the things that need to be changed in order for our students to reach their fullest potential.

SURVEY RESPONSES

Ranked Statements
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Charter schools and schools accepting vouchers should be held to the same performance standards as public schools in established school districts.
Strongly Agree
BESE should be able to overrule a local or parish school board in awarding charters to new schools that have been turned down previously.
Strongly Disagree
Charter schools and schools accepting vouchers should be required to serve special-needs students in the same proportion as public schools in the district.
Strongly Agree
Comprehensive, age-appropriate sex education should be offered in all schools under BESE jurisdiction, on an individual student opt-out basis.
Strongly Disagree
Science classes should be grounded in evidence-based science, including comprehensive, age-appropriate instruction about the current scientific consensus on the threats posed by climate change and actions to address that problem.
Strongly Disagree
BESE board members should propose and advocate at the legislature for full and adequate funding of public school textbooks and class materials, including for science labs, foreign language programs, and arts and music programs
Strongly Agree
BESE board members should advocate at the legislature for full and adequate funding of public schools to restore infrastructure in crumbling schools and to provide competitive compensation for school teachers and other school staff.
Strongly Agree

 

Short-answer Questions
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What do you consider the three greatest problems facing our state educational system at the elementary and secondary school level, and why?

1) A federal movement to standardize what our children learn. The idea of globalizing education isn’t new, but the idea seems to be moving faster and faster these days. Our country’s framers didn’t include education in the U.S. Constitution for a reason, and each state has the authority to educate it’s residents as it sees fit. 2) Teacher attrition. Our teachers have been beaten down, ignored, and in some cases reprimanded for simply looking after the best interest of their students. Common core standards have placed our teachers in handcuffs by removing the allowance for them to be creative. Unfair teacher evaluations have told society that the entire blame for a student not succeeding rests on the teacher. 3) Disengaged parents. On a mass scale, our students’ parents no longer hold their children accountable for their performance at school. Parents offer little to no help at home, and often blame the school for their child’s poor performance. We must get our parents support.

What portion of the costs of public schools should be provided by state government and what portion should be the responsibility of local taxpayers?

Generally speaking, it should be 50% state & 50% local. I do understand that poorer parishes don’t have the resources that others do, but there are examples of some parishes excelling over those with more money. Livingston Parish, for instance, consistently ranks in the top 10 school districts across the state, while being one of the lowest tax-base parishes by population in the state. It all comes down to what the local taxpayers value most.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a call to action addressing racism and its health impacts on children and teens. What role should BESE play in implementing the recommendations of the AAP?

BESE should not play a role in addressing racism. Racism is a societal problem, and no amount of policy at the BESE level is going to resolve it. Local school districts understand far more about the backgrounds and cultures of their residents, and are better equipped to handle all issues on the topic.

Superintendent John White has been in a month-to-month contract after his contract expired. What would you like to see done with his contract and why?

I would like to see BESE pursue a different candidate for state superintendent. John White is the 3rd highest paid state superintendent in the nation, and Louisiana has consistently ranked at the bottom of the nation during his long tenure. It’s time for Louisiana to move forward and find someone who is not only qualified for the position, but also has Louisiana values that represent the stakeholders in our state.

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