Over the next two weeks we will highlight different races, candidates and issues. We start with a report about the only contested Rockford School Board race Subdistrict D.
The choices are current board president Nancy Kalchbrenner, RESA geography teacher Mark Thompson and Lutheran High School teacher Barb Dent. Kalchbrenner has been on the board since 2001, so I asked if she would have changed any of her past actions.
Kalchbrenner says, "Of course, I wish budget things didn't have to happen but our financially reality demanded those kind of cuts, so I look back and see that we needed to do that and we needed to show the community how serious we are about our finances."
The other two candidates both have educational backgrounds, and if elected, have issues they want to attack. Dent wants to work on better communication with all of us.
Dent says, "When you change programs at school and not give parents any communication, that's going to cause problems."
Thompson wants the district to move away from being an agriculturally based system in order to be more in tune with technology.
Thompson tells 23 News, "The first thing I would do would work on school reform plan so that we can get in touch with reality."
All three candidates do agree that the district needs to work on school choice and both Dent and Thompson want the district to return to neighborhoods schools.
Dent says, “We don't have high schools or middle schools that people live a mile and a half away from therefore district representatives don't get their choice. I have many people in my district that are placed on a waiting list."
Kalchbrenner replies by saying, "We've had pressure at Eisenhower and Guilford, which is why we started a task force. We addressed that problem at the elementary level and it needs to be addressed now in the middle school and high schools."
Thompson stated, "We need to get back to neighborhood schools it would allow them to be more involved with students that makes a big different with education today.”
If Thompson were to win he says he would give up his position at RESA since it would be a conflict of interest. Dent isn't teaching in the District 205 but resides in the district so she could continue teaching at Lutheran High School.