Two years ago the CCSD15 school board election was mainly about finances. As you may recall, all three incumbents running then were replaced by three new members. The new board has since made great strides in getting the district's financial house in order while holding the line on taxes.
This time around a main election issue concerns balancing the need of teachers to plan their lessons with its impact on children and their parents. Specifically, this issue is the "Late Start or Early Dismissal" issue in which the teachers prefer a late Wednesday start in order to use that time for professional development, while the parents overwhelmingly prefer an early Friday dismissal.
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While we definitely appreciate the dedication of our teachers and wish to accommodate their professional development needs, I believe we must place top priority on impact to the children and their parents when choosing the day and time. All things considered, the clear choice should be a Friday early dismissal. As this issue will not be voted upon by the board until after the upcoming election, we have a right to know the candidates' positions before the voters of the district elect their representatives.
So where do the candidates stand on this issue? Well, the incumbents seeking re-election won't say, mostly just stating that it will be voted upon by the board at a future meeting. Both Matt Lyons and Donna Johnson openly state and emphasize that the needs of the children must come first. Jennifer Zold sums it up best by saying "I believe early release is in the best interest of the children."
For those putting the needs of the children first, one only need to look at the first three names on the ballot on April 9: Matt Lyons, Jennifer Zold and Donna Johnson.