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12:20 PM Fri, Feb. 22nd

School board candidates raise issues as elections nears

Some candidates running for seats on the Kingman Unified School District governing board have raised new concerns as the election draws near.

The eight candidates running for the five open seats are: C.

David Cooley, Pat Carlin Jr., Charles Lucero, Mike Cobb, Missy Grasser, Doris Goodale, Andra Goldberg, and Jerri Short.

"I've talked to a few teachers who feel they are not completely backed by administrators," Cooley said.

"I know there have been some problems when disciplining a child in class.

Parents of that child go to the principal and, in some cases, the punishment is lessened."

"I'd like to see more respect back in the classroom for teachers, so more coordination is needed on discipline matters."

Cooley previously told the Miner his concerns were teacher salaries, possible implementation of a student dress code, and a reduction in class sizes.

Many candidates are focusing on budget matters but other things must be examined to improve education, including teachers regaining respect, Cooley said.

Carlin, the current president of the KUSD board, has stated issues of concern to him are curriculum alignment, student achievement, and accountability under the federal No Child Left Behind legislation.

"Another big issue will be how we align our buildings," Carlin said.

"The issue is on the table and I expect the current board to make recommendations and leave it to the new board to make final decisions with professionals in the district."

Questions about buildings include what grade levels to put in which schools to relieve overcrowding.

Lucero also cited building configurations as a major issue for the new board in addition to teacher compensation and compliance with No Child Left Behind.

Cobb said he, too, is concerned with building configurations.

But he also hopes a new school can be built in Kingman and he wants to further a program to help potential drop-outs finish high school.

Grasser previously told the Miner her issues of concern included the addition of tutoring programs and a dress code for students.

"One other concern for me is insurance for dependents of district employees," Grasser said.

"We need to shop around for a less expensive plan for them."

The state budget, complete implementation of the unification plan, student achievement and teacher salaries were issues of concern earlier in the campaign for Goodale.

"What I'm concerned with as the election approaches is who will be our governor, legislators and the new superintendent of public instruction," Goodale said.

"Who knows with all of the changes coming what our district will face, but I'm confident we'll be ready to stand up and face them positively."

Goldberg has said she would like to find ways to augment alternative programs to create diverse pathways toward success.

Teacher compensation and professional development are other areas of concern for her.

"I hope everyone gets out and votes," Goldberg said.

"I certainly would like to be one of the representatives on the new board."

Short, a current governing board member, could not be contacted this week.

Compliance with Arizona LEARNS (Leading Education through the Accountability and Results Notification System) and No Child Left Behind to avoid any loss of state or federal funds was a top priority when the Miner previously spoke with Short.

The top three vote getters Tuesday will earn seats for four years on the governing board.

Candidates garnering the fourth- and fifth-highest number of votes get two-year terms.