By Crystal Thompson
As part of Burns Barnstorming Bus Tour 2000, Elaine Sollie Herman, Republican candidate for Superintendant of Public Instruction, was in Havre on Wednesday.
Herman told a Havre audience that the secret to Montana's success lies in local school systems. Herman said that she is a product of Montana's school system and that her major concern is maintaining the quality of what she calls "Montana's wonderful schools."
As Superintendent of Public Instruction, Herman would oversee the largest budget in the state. According to her promotional handout, Herman is a registered investment advisor and has 23 years experience in business and finance. She believes financial management abilities are imperative to being a strong superintendent.
Herman told her supporters that she sees "a lot of soft money coming from the democratic ticket". She said that her opponent, Democrat Linda McCulloch, wants more state and federal control over schools.
Herman also said she feels local schools belong to the community and the families who keep them alive.
Herman explained that she is in favor of giving teachers the authority to discipline their students effectively. "Do you know the number one reason parents send their children to private schools?" Herman asked, "discipline," she answered. Herman said that the key to creating safe schools begins with parents. She said that if children are taught respect early on, then there becomes no need for the extreme precautions that some schools have been forced to take due to violence and bad behavior that plagues their classrooms.
"I really can't stand the feeling of having our halls policed," Herman said.
Herman said that the key to creating a strong school system is local control and parent involvement.
As a mother, former teacher and businesswoman, Herman said that she feels confident with her ability to oversee the state as Superintendent of Public Instruction.