Devon Updegraff-Day

Meet the Candidate

Running For:
School Board
Peoria Elementary
Having children who attend a local public school, I have become increasingly more frustrated with the school board's lack of leadership and accountability. Schools seem to be focusing more on social issues and less on academics. Our children need to have a better understanding of US history and develop critical thinking skills. Discussion and debate must be encouraged, and the curriculum should not be geared toward standardized testing. Standardized testing is fine for gathering data but should not be used for school or teacher evaluations. Teacher mentorships that involve peer observations to improve teaching techniques and student/parent surveys to determine if the material being taught is clear and understandable format should be implemented.


Response Legend

  • SSupports
  • OOpposes
  • *Comment
  • Declined to respond
  • Declined to respond, Position based on citation

Question Response Comments/Notes
1. Providing parents the option of choosing phonics instruction for all K-3rd grade students S* Phonics instruction does not teach children very much about certain aspects of writing, so I believe it is beneficial to place more emphasis on spelling and writing. However, I do support parents having an option for phonics instruction
2. Allowing parents to opt their children out of activities or lessons they find offensive to their personal, moral, or religious beliefs S* Yes a parent should always have the option of opting their child out of activities they may find offensive it should not count against their child's attendance
3. Increasing state and local taxes to provide more funding for schools and school facility projects O* Until the school board demonstrates an ability to solve financial struggles without the help of taxpayers. Taxpayers like myself want accountability, transparency and problem solving from their school board
4. Requiring signed permission from a parent before a student may participate in sex education classes or presentations on gender identity S* I strongly oppose gender identity being taught in public schools. Yes, parents must give written permission with the option for their child to opt out without being marked absent. The child can either stay home or be offered study time. A detailed sex-education curriculum must be given to parents to review prior to the course. Sex education should focus solely on protection and prevention; nothing about sexual identity or sexual preference is relevant
5. Allowing all parents to use tax credits, vouchers, or education savings accounts to enable children to attend any public, charter, private, homeschool, or online academy S* yes, I believe the money should follow the child.
6. Requiring full-day kindergarten for all students O* Full day kindergarten should be available but not required
7. Requiring sex education classes for K-12th grade students O* Basic sex education that focuses solely on protection and prevention should be offered once in either 6th or 7th grade. Anything below 6th grade is inappropriate.
8. Allocating a certain percentage of the school district’s budget to be spent in the classroom, as opposed to for administration S* yes, I support money that directly benefits the children benefit
9. Implementing policies to allow students and faculty to use the restroom, locker room, and shower room that aligns with their gender identity O* No, a gender-neutral restroom can easily be added and boys/girls restrooms, lockers and showers should be aligned with born gender
10. Presenting competing and alternative theories regarding the origin of life when evolution is taught in science classes S* I support science classes providing alternative theories to the origin of life that also includes evolution. I think it is a great chance for valuable discussion among peers