The next Madison School Board election is ten long months away, but the first candidate to replace retiring board member Carol Carstensen has already emerged.
Attorney Ed Hughes, 54, an east-side parent activist, says he will seek Carstensen’s seat in the spring 2008 election.
“My interest in the school board started with my frustration over its budgeting process,” he says. “Several years ago, I remember attending a strings concert and wondering why cutting strings kept coming up year after year as a budget option.”
Hughes shares the common perception that the Madison schools are hurt by the state’s current formula for funding education. But be also thinks the school board undercuts public understanding of the district’s plight by not being fully transparent in its budget-making. Hughes feels the board can do a better job of explaining its spending decisions to the public.
“The budgetary issues are paramount,” he says. “The quality of the schools won’t be maintained if we have to cut from $5-to$7 million dollars every year. We’ll have to go referendum, but referendums aren’t easy to pass.”
Ed Blume was correct when he said that “it’s never too early to run for the school board”.