Candidates for the State School Board District 12 race spoke at the Vernal Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Tuesday. Local incumbent of 14 years Dixie Lee Allen and candidate Alisa Ellis of Heber took on hot topics from common core to testing in schools. Ellis described herself as a lifelong advocate of education as a mother of 7 who took up the battle to fight for local control in education 5 years ago when national standards were being adopted as the state’s common core standards. “There is a struggle happening over education, a battle over who gets to control the classroom,” says Ellis. “The people who are continually left out of the process are the parents...I am here to restore the people’s voice back into education so [they] can have a say and help correct the path of education.” Ellis emphasized her opposition to common core, stating that the federal government does not have the right to control education. Ms. Allen explained that having common standards is about preparing students to compete in order to be successful wherever they go. “Most parents don’t understand what the core is,” says Allen. “If we don’t have a curriculum we can’t prepare students to go to college and be successful...It is critical we provide a quality education system.” Allen agreed it is not good to just align to a national curriculum but emphasized that education must prepare students for opportunities beyond just the state of Utah.