Rochester Public Schools Board Seat 4

October 31, 2018 04:51 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- There are big races to watch across the state on Election Day, from U.S. Senators to Governor.

But when it comes to the decisions that will impact your day-to-day life, the local level elections might just be the most important.


In Rochester, when you fill out your ballot on November 6, you’ll see four school board seats up for election.

Seats 2, 4, 5, and 6 are up for election in the nonpartisan races.

Julie Workman is seeking her third term for seat four.

“People always ask me why are you running again and I feel at this point I have a real good historical knowledge not only of the district but how the board functions,” she said.

Her opponent is newcomer John Eischen.

“We’re talking about schools, building schools, and construction, that’s my background, 25 years in the construction industry, I understand commercial building and the aspects of that,” he said.

An issue on the minds of some voters – the Office of Civil Rights found discipline disparities among minority students.

“We need to have a discipline policy that’s equitable to everybody. We need to provide the teachers an environment they can teach. We need to make sure we’re in tune with cultural differences that may be there and understand and respect those cultural differences and we need to make sure the students that are there to learn have that opportunity,” Eischen said.

“I think it’s really important that students all have the same level playing field, the same shot at getting an education and part of that is understanding where they’re coming from in terms of cultural expectations, historical trauma, what kinds of things affect them in their home life,” said Workman.

Another issue at play is overcrowding.

Rochester keeps growing, but schools are already nearing maximum capacity.

“We’re definitely growing so we’re definitely going to need additional schools we need to make sure that we're utilizing our existing g facilities to their maximum capacity before we start building actual buildings because those are very expensive,” Eischen said.

“It’s apparent that our schools are overcrowded I don’t think anybody disagrees with that so we’ve had a community task force that’s been convening since June, working with a consultant and they had some preliminary brainstorming that they presented to the board several weeks ago in terms of thinking outside the box, and how can we creatively solve some of these issues while still remaining true to our mission of educating students, and within the financial constraints that we have,” Workman said.

Neither candidate ruled out having secondary-aged students taking public transportation to school, keeping in mind safety is the top priority. 


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