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This official statement comes from the Elect.Rauterkus.com campaign.
Please post comments on the associated "discussion" page. Only campaign workers should edit this page.
  • Lifelong learning is a vital element in todday's society and much more can be done from City Council to encourage other learning opportunities, beyond the traditional educational avenues and schools. I pledge to be a champion of many efforts for life-long learning, such as with CLOH.Org, the Community Learning Outreach Hub.
http://cloh.org/art/community-logo.jpg
  • I'll work to make more alternatives in education.
  • I will work to increase choices for the parents and reduce built-in school district choices. This can be done with options, magnets, fluid frameworks, soft borders, specialized applications and perhaps, when necessary, privitization.
* I'm in favor of families who can opt out of their feeder stystem and go to the school of their choice.
  • I want to see more competition introduced into the Pennsylvania school systems.
  • Religious based schooling, while not something that can be directly funded with tax dollars, should be something that works within the city because it keeps people local. Obviously our current system is not working. Obviously, we can't just grant public money to religious schools. But, as a council member, we can get out of the way on matters of zoning, crossing guards, and things like bus routes to assist where it makes sense to do so. Kids that go to private and religious schools are citizens too and can get help from public officials and public insitutions when possible. I will be there to help all students and families.
  • Under the current system, kids get trapped in bad schools. Kids that can't get out of a school setting that doesn't work for that student is going to fail. Or, the family will vote with their feet and move out of the city.
  • A large amount of the decline in population of residents in the city of Pittsburgh is due to the options within the Pittsburgh Public School as the oldest child in a family grows into the middle school grades.
  • Privatization would be a welcome change to confront the ridgid structure of some schools and school districts. The ultimate privatization is Home Schooling. Home schooling makes an excellent choice for many families.
As a city council member who hopes to chair the committee on Youth Policy and Citiparks, I want to do a lot with the city's home school population via the Recreation Centers.
A city council member who hopes to chair the committee on Youth Policy and Citiparks, I want to do a lot with the city's private school and religious school population via the Recreation Centers.
  • I will become one of the best elected officials in the state and nation when it comes to being a sincere, dedicate and devoted advocate for education, learning, teachers, public schools, families and students.
  • I've presented many of my concerns and insights at Pittsburgh Public School Board Meetings.
* Mark Rauterkus message to the School Board: To_PPS_on_2-13-06
* Mark Rauterkus message to the School Board: To_PPS_on_11-21-05
  • I've been engaged in our schools, as a parent and with a larger, regional view.
  • I care more about our kids than anything else, other than the concepts of freedom as put forth by our founding fathers, i.e., with liberty and justice for all. These two prime concerns of mine, (our children and our freedom), are woven into each other and into my purpose.
  • I've been visible with many educational issues.
  • Pittsburgh's ninth member of city council needs to have different values and perspectives if we are ever to thrive again.

Opposition

  • None of the others in the 2006 race for City Council have kids in public schools. None of the others wants to lead the Youth Policy and Citiparks committee as chairman. None of the others have technology and software experiences, yet alone a wife with a PhD that does so much for learning at Pitt and with the health and educational professions. And, I'm a coach who has much to offer given my background and activities from around the nation and region.
  • I support the right of public employees, specifically teachers, to organize and bargain.
My dad, sister, uncle, cousins and wife, plus myself for a brief time in the past, have been teachers in Pittsburgh. I am pat of a big teaching family.
When I was the head varsity swim coach for the girls and boys teams at Fox Chapel Area High School, I was a member of the teachers union bargain body.
  • I believe that public dollars should be spent on public schools.
I oppose vouchers as a general concept. And I do not favor any other legislative attempt to divert public monies to religious and private schools. However, when public schools have crashed and failed, then we must do everything we can to make a comeback with the kids and families. So, in these rare instances, such as with the community of Duquesne, Wilkinsburg and Sto Rox, I'd favor a short-term voucher program that allowed and assisted students to attend better schools.
  • Private schools are great, but they should work only with private funding.
  • Let market forces lend a better hand so as to decide the shape of our education system. Markets, not monopolies will best determine the direction we shall go in education. Thirty years ago, the internet wasn't even something to dream about for anyone. Now there are cyber charter schools. We need more instances of freedom because the schools are failing.
  • Education can and should be handled at the local and state levels.
  • I'm going to make sure that all kinds of different educational systems flourish in Pennsylvania and in Pittsburgh.
  • I want to open up the educational choices. Allow the parents and students to decide which educational programs are the best, not competing bureaucrats (and lobbyists.) If it is a good program, it will stand on its own. People will gladly pay for it.
  • We need to return control of education to the local level. To the local school boards. And the funding should be at the local level as well. All the (501) school districts are different. So we can't apply the same formula across the board.
  • Local school boards should have the option of deciding how they will raise the money (for schools). Through property taxes, with a local income tax, a local sales tax, or maybe even with a cut in spending. They would have a greater incentive to cut spending if they had to raise all of their school funds locally.
  • I support the concept of using property taxes as the major part of the continuing combinations of taxes that are essential to support public education. I am a "Geo - Libertarian" -- So, I feel that it is best to tax the land.
  • I oppose legislation that reduces the responsibility of businesses and property owners, so that they do not pay their fair share of taxes. We need taxes to support public education and opposes exemptions for businesses and corporations. I am dead-set against corporate tax breaks, as is the case with TIFs.
Many times -- and perhaps more than anyone in Allegheny County -- I've said "NO" to TIFs. All TIFs (tax breaks to corporations) should end.
  • I would support legislation that would provide alternative placements and/or schools for chronically disruptive students and the necessary funding for such programs.
Kids that can't function in a typical school setting must be removed from that setting so that other kids can thrive. And we can't shift trouble from school to school in mid-semester.
  • I opposes the corporate take over of public schools. I would oppose legislation that allows for profit companies to take over public schools.
Public schools have to work. I have always been for strong public operations of public duties. I am against corporate controls where it makes no sense.
  • I support the funding of legislation that provides adequate computers and computer software for students, given that the bulk of the software is open source.
I called for and will organize the Youth Technology Summit (P-G business coverage.) But, software needs to be of the open source code model -- free, cheaper, better, customized, and many long-term benefits. Open source matters. This move sets a new standard for tech literacy that our kids need to compete globally.
I'll put P.C.s (personal computers) into Recreation Centers, again.
  • I'd push to diminish and re-think the Federal Department of Education. Education starts from the bottom and moves upward, not the other way around. Community, Township, County elements matter most, then maybe State decisions. There is little need to involve the Federal Government in education. When the Federal Goverment gets involved, education becomes too much like indoctrination.
  • Do away with federal unfunded mandates for schools. They are designed more to have national central control over local things like schools. They are not really designed to help with education.
  • I will do everything possible to support those who choose to educate their children with Home Schooling and insure that those rights are protected and extended.

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