Rochester school board candidates take to debate stage

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(ABC 6 News) – The League of Women Voters held two candidate forums Wednesday evening for school board seats 2 and 4.

The second round of Rochester School board candidates took part in the debates at the Rochester Public Library.

First up were candidates Julie Workman and John Whelan for seat 4. Much of the debate was centered around student safety and discipline. They were even asked about potential budget cuts they’d make if elected. 

RELATED: League of Women Voters host Rochester school board candidate debates

“My hope would be that we would be able to follow what it is in the strategic plan and stick to the programs that are in the strategic plan to keep any budget cuts as far away from the classroom as possible,” said School Board Seat 4 Candidate Julie Workman.

We would roll back the school board salaries to what they were before the current board more than doubled their salaries,” Seat 4 Candidate John Whelan said.

Next up were candidates for Seat 2 – Justin Cook and Rae Parker.

When asked what is the biggest problem facing the district, they both agreed it is having students able to read by third grade.

Declining MCA test scores sparked some differences between the two.

“They’re not especially helpful in terms of guiding instruction in a classroom within a given year,” School Board Seat 2 Candidate Justin Cook.  

When we have students who can fail 6th, 7th, and 8th grade, and still be passed along to high schools, I think maybe these scores are reflective of what’s going on,” Seat 2 Candidate Rae Parker said. 

The League of Women Voters is hosting additional debates in October. For more information, click here.