Sunday, August 17, 2014

Candidate Questionnaire 1: Tax Dollars for Private Schools

In July, The Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education (NEIFPE) contacted all 21 of the candidates running for federal and state offices in NE Indiana to ask them for their views pertaining to education issues. Each was sent a survey of 10 questions. So far 6 have returned the surveys. If and when others respond, those will also be posted. The comments below are unedited and are the words and thoughts of the candidates. NEIFPE shares this information so voters will be able to make informed choices at the polls on November 4.

(NOTE: A copy of the original (blank) questionnaire may be found HERE.)

Question: Do you believe tax dollars should support private and parochial education?

(Note: Candidates are listed by district, and by alphabetical order within districts)

Candidates for State Representative

Charles Odier, D-52: "No, if a company wants to start a business it should pay it's own way, the charter schools failed, but were forgiven their debt. I believe in separation of church and state, I don't think we should pay to teach one kind or another of religion."

Phil GiaQuinta, D-80: "No."

Thad Gerardot, D-81: "No."

Mike Wilber, D-82: "Absolutely not. Tax dollars should support public schools."

Fred Haigh, D-84: "Absolutely not! I believe the first ten words added to the constitution (the first sentence of the first amendment) outline a wall of separation between church and state. Tax proceeds should not be used to support the parochial, ideological, or dogmatic views of a minority or, for that matter, a majority of the public."

Candidates for State Senate

Jack Morris, D-15: "No."

Candidates for U. S. Representative

Justin Kuhnle, D-3: "Tax dollars that are designed and designated for use by public education should be provided to public education. I believe if a child was chosen to attend a private or parochial school, the parent(s) or guardian(s) should provide for the cost of that education."


The following candidates did not provide a response the the questions.

Candidates for State Representative
Dan Leonard, R-50
Dennis Zent, R-51
Benjamin Smaltz, R-52
Matt Lehman, R-79
Martin Carbaugh, R-81
David Ober, R-82
Christopher Judy, R-83
Bob Morris, R-84
Casey Cox, R-85

Candidates for State Senate
Dennis Kruse, R-14
Liz Brown, R-15
Jim Banks, R-17
Travis Holdman, R-19

Candidates for U.S. Representative
Marlin Stutzman, R-3

Complete Responses

Click the candidate's name below to see their entire questionnaire, including a statement of their vision for the future of education in Indiana. NOTE: Only those candidates who returned a questionnaire are listed.


  • Jack Morris, candidate for Indiana Senate District 15

  • Justin Kuhnle, candidate for U.S. Representative Indiana District 3


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