Questions at the Candidate Forum

We had a lot of good discussion at yesterday’s candidate forum.  Parts of the forum will appear on CPS TV.  We promised to post the questions that the candidates asked and to invite the candidates to send us additional responses if they wished.  You can send your solutions or comments as well to us at columbiaparents4public  Here are the questions:

  • What types of changes would you like to see happen with CPS?
  • If the tax levy does not pass in April, Dr. Belcher indicated that there are 4 discretionary expenditure programs that will be considered for budget cuts if necessary: Parents as Teachers, Preschool, Gifted Education, Alternative Learning (Douglass, etc.).  If you are on the board,what area of programming will you see necessary to cut or change? Or do you have another approach to meeting budget requirements?
  • What do you think the strengths of the district are and how do we build on them?
  • What would you do as a school board member to get to know the issues facing teachers in schools?
  • What do you see as your role on the board (per curriculum)? (3 similar)
  • How do you feel about the current state of teacher salaries and benefits (should everyone pay for part of their health insurance)?
  • What ideas do you have to address the achievement gap that exists in the schools?
  • In what ways would you like to invite the community to help with the schools?
  • If elected to the board, what would be your priority objectives?
  • What do you see as “problems” with the district?
  • If we need to prioritize programs with reductions of funds, what will guide your decision? (2 similar)
  • What experiences do you bring to the table to be an effective board member?
  • What do you think is your biggest asset, or personal skill set, that you would bring to the school board?
  • How would you seek to hire and more importantly retain quality educators?
  • How do you feel about exclusive representation in collective bargaining?
  • How do you see collective bargaining working in the district?
  • If elected would you support the small autonomous school ideas for Lee, Ridgeway, and Benton? How and why?
  • What ideas do you have that would promote more parent involvement in the schools?
  • Why do you want to be on the school board and why do you think you should be elected?
  • How would you describe the appropriate roles of board members and administrators and their relation to each other?

Superintendent Chris Belcher also spoke before the forum on the pending bond issue and tax levy.  Summary information distributed at the forum and related information can be reviewed here.