Our questions for the candidates running for Shawnee Mission School Board

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Today we present our questions for the candidates running in the contested elections for the Shawnee Mission School Board. Thanks to the readers who sent in suggestions for questions this time around.

We will send these along to the candidates today. Look for their responses starting next week. The races we will be covering with these questions include the seat representing the SM North area with incumbent Sara Goodburn facing Mark Ellis and the at-large seat which sees Brad Stratton and Elizabeth Rulo running.

Prairie Village Post also is a co-sponsor of a candidate forum at 7 p.m. Tuesday night at the district administration building which will feature the same candidates and questions posed by the Shawnee Mission Area Council PTA.

Here are our questions for the candidates:

  • What is the area that most urgently needs to be addressed by the school district and why? What action would you encourage as a board member?
  • The school district recently filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit that challenges the level of education funding provided by the state, suggesting that the interests of Shawnee Mission aren’t represented by the smaller districts that filed the initial suit. Do you agree with the intervention and the approach the district is taking in the motion?
  • The district has undergone significant changes in the last 18 months including a massive technology rollout, security upgrades, a large bond issue and a significant number of retirements and administrative changes. Are these changes in line with solving the most critical issues facing the district and do you support each of them?
  • The current school board frequently takes actions with little or no discussion during board meetings and usually by unanimous vote. Over recent years, people who have appeared in person to address the board complained of not receiving a reaction or followup from the board. What is the board’s responsibility to the public? How can the board be more effective?
  • Why are you the most qualified person to occupy this seat on the board?