School board candidate Randy Boothe wants public money in public schools; Cari Bartholomew champions school choice.

Incumbent USBE member Boothe is running for reelection in District 13 and will face Republican primary election Cari Bartholomew.

Incumbent Utah State Board of Education Member Randy Boothe is being challenged for his District 13 seat by Cari Bartholomew. The winner of the Republican primary will claim the district that covers parts of Utah County as there is no Democrat challenger.

Boothe initially ran for office and won in 2020, which marked the state’s first-ever partisan elections for the Utah State Board of Education. He spent 44 years teaching at Brigham Young University. He also served for six years on the Nebo School board and 14 years on Mountainland Technical College board of directors

Bartholomew secured the Republican delegate’s nomination for the District 13 school board seat. She currently works as a history teacher for iCreate Collaborative, a hybrid homeschooling program based in Orem. She has previously served as an instructor and substitute for American Preparatory Academy. According to her website, Bartholomew is a strong “proponent” of school choice.

To better understand the candidates’ positions on issues readers told The Salt Lake Tribune were important in this primary, a reporter reached out to Boothe and Bartholomew with questions on topics from Natalie Cline’s censure to book bans. Boothe shared his answers with The Tribune, while Bartholomew did not respond to the request.

According to Utah State Board of Education bylaws, board members must act “in the best interest of the school children of the state, using powers or resources of public office to promote the public interest rather than for personal gain or to pursue private interests.” If elected, how will you act in the best interest of Utah’s school children? (100 words max)

Randy Boothe: If elected, I will continue to act in the best interest of Utah’s school children as I have for the past 19+ years. My service, leadership, and voting record on the State Board of Education, Mountainland Technical College board, and Nebo’s board of education are open for review. My career as an educator for 43 years provided opportunities to impact teacher preparation for public education. I will seek the input of parents, teachers, and community leaders, ensure that valuable resources are properly used, steadily improve the goals for academic excellence, and actively seek ways to make our schools safer.

Cari Bartholomew: Did not respond.

State school board leaders this year voted to censure board member Natalie Cline after determining that a social media post she made resulted in the “cyberbullying” and “harassment” of a student.

Do you agree or disagree with the board’s decision? Why or why not? (100 words max)

Boothe: Natalie Cline, unfortunately, crossed the line in her choice to post a student’s photograph, exposing that student and her family to unwanted and highly inappropriate intrusions into their private lives. Such actions from a trusted, elected official are not acceptable. I have supported the board’s decision from the beginning of the discussion. It is my responsibility to protect Utah’s school children. In this unfortunate incident, a talented student-athlete was placed in a situation she should have never been in. We must unite in our commitment to protect Utah’s children.

Bartholomew: Did not respond.

List what you believe are the top five challenges facing public education in Utah, ranking them with No. 1 as the most critical. (100 words max)

Boothe: I believe that the top five challenges facing public education in Utah are the following: 1) Making certain that funds for public education remain in public education and are not lost to other programs; 2) Assuring that the physical and emotional safety of our students is a non-negotiable priority, 3) Working for smaller class sizes in our state with an ever-increasing population; 4) Providing initiatives to encourage high quality teacher candidates to enter public education; 5) Increasing opportunities for individualized instruction to facilitate maximum growth for each student.

Bartholomew: Did not respond.

For or against: Are you voting for or against the constitutional amendment that removes the requirement that income taxes be used for education and social services?


Bartholomew: Did not respond.

For or against: Did you support or oppose HB29, which created a process for banning books from Utah schools statewide if at least three school districts or at least two school districts and five charter schools determine it amounts to “objective sensitive material?”

Boothe: I am FOR HB29

Bartholomew: Did not respond.

Yes or no: Do you support policies/laws that seek to eliminate diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in Utah’s K-12 public schools?

Boothe: I will abide by the law, and I will continue to identify barriers to educational equity, recommending policies and practices to address those barriers, and fostering an inclusive environment where every student has the opportunity to succeed.

Bartholomew: Did not respond.

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