Oregon School Board Candidates Debate the Issues

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The Rockford School District is not alone in its financial troubles. The Oregon School District is dealing with a similar budget problem.

Candidates for the upcoming school board election discussed how they would deal with the districts $3.5 million deficit.

With 35 teachers already eliminated from the district, many parents are worried about their children's education. They're hoping these candidates can shed some light on the future.

Barbara Krehl's daughter will be in kindergarten next year, but sending her to an Oregon school makes Krehl a little nervous.

"I'm concerned about the school district being taken over by the state and what we're going to do to turn the financial situation around," she said.

With a $3.5 million deficit, the district has just been placed on the state's financial watch list. But Krehl's hoping a new board will give the district a fresh start.

"I'd really like to see some people coming up with alternative ideas. Someone looking for things that aren't conventional but might work," said Krehl.

Candidates Bill Fearer and Tom Peters have a few suggestions to offer.

"Increasing participation fees, getting volunteers and sponsorships [...], but ultimately the debt is so high we need more ways to raise money or cut expenses," said Fearer.

Peters says he'll also focus on keeping communication between the public and the board members open.

"The public meetings are great but I think it's a little too late to have discussion on an item the day it's on the cutting room floor," Peters said.

The Oregon School Board will be looking for a new superintendent. The candidates at this debate say they want a person who is a leader and can work well with others.