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Bios, Q&A: State Senate District 43


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Name: Chip Perfect

Age: 56

Political party: Republican

Office sought: Indiana State Senate, District 43

Occupation: Ski area manager, entrepreneur

Education: Bachelor’s degree from Purdue University in ag education, 1979

Prior elected offices held, and when: None

Prior elected offices sought, and when: None

Community involvement: Member of the Dearborn County Chamber of Commerce, and past president; board member of the Dearborn County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and past president; Dearborn County 4-H Fair Board; Dearborn County Hospital board of directors; Midwest Ski Areas Association board of directors; chairman of the National Ski Areas Association; selected as a distinguished ag alumni by Purdue University; participant in Purdue Old Masters program.

Family: Wife, Ellen M. Perfect; children, Alex, Paige and Grace.

Name: Bill McDonald

Age: 60

Party: Republican

Office sought: Indiana State Senate, District 43

Occupation: Law enforcement

Education: University of Palm Beach (Fla.), business administration, Bernard G. Memorial Scholarship Award for business law; numerous Federal Emergency Management Agency and U.S. Coast Guard certifications.

Prior elected office held and when: Ripley County Council, 2010 to present.

Prior elected offices sought and when: None

Community Involvement: 37 years, United States Power Squadron; 20 years, Indiana Knights of Columbus, past four as state disaster relief coordinator; 11 years, Ripley County Sheriff’s Department, past four as jail commander; eight years, Special Olympics, past four as venue manager for Versailles polar plunge; four years, Ripley County Council member; three years, Lions Club member.

Family: Wife, Toni; daughters, Keri and Lynn; three grandchildren.

Name: Mark Schneider

Age: 27

Political party: Republican

Office sought: Indiana State Senate, 43rd district

Occupation: High school and adult education teacher at McDowell Education Center, Columbus

Education: Columbus East High School, 2005; Bachelor of Science, Indiana University at Bloomington, 2009.

Prior elected offices held: None

Prior elected offices sought: None

Community Involvement: Member, St. Bartholomew Roman Catholic Church

Family: Single

How can state lawmakers continue to address and narrow the state's gap between the skills employers need in employees and education that will provide those skills?

Schneider

We need to encourage more students to explore high-tech, high-paying trade skill jobs. Not every person needs a four-year degree. We need to continue to strengthen programs that bridge the skills gap for adults who find themselves unemployed and needing the job skills of the 21st century.

Perfect

We need to be more forward thinking about education. The skills people need in today’s world must be the guiding factor. We need an all-options education approach; I am for whatever gets results. Expand our vocational training and help people take advantage of the opportunities of today.

McDonald

Expand opportunities for both technical schools and college to provide easier access to student loans and high-speed Internet.

A prekindergarten pilot program was approved by state lawmakers this session but only in limited form. Indiana also junked using the Common Core standards. What should the state's educational focus be to produce better educational results, and how can state lawmakers make that goal a reality?

Schneider

There are no shortcuts when investing in education. The earlier we invest in our kids, the more the results will grow and compound upon themselves. As a teacher, I witness this daily. When fiscally viable, funding pre-K and full-day kindergarten must become one of the highest priorities for Indiana.

Perfect

Everyone has a stake in the outcome of education. It is going to take a lot of flexibility and a number of different approaches to improve education. How kids learn, what motivates them, what gets results has a huge number of variables. Education cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach.

McDonald

Return to ISTEP standards and allow local school districts to decide what is best.

Gov. Mike Pence has championed cuts in certain taxes to create a better business climate in Indiana to attract economic development and jobs. Should this be the template for economic development in Indiana, or should there be another focus?

Schneider

Indiana needs to maintain its position as the best place for business in the Midwest. If specific taxes exist that can cause businesses to look elsewhere, then we must focus on how to mitigate that tax on businesses without causing debilitating losses in revenue to the state and local municipalities.

Perfect

More competition in the workforce creates more (job) opportunities, more opportunities encourages growth, growth means better pay. It's not just about tax policy. It's a world market for jobs. To compete and attract business, we must make Indiana's business climate more attractive — the best place to live and work.

McDonald

Yes, as long as there is no shift in the tax burden to homeowners or farmers.

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