The decision of Madison School Board member Lawrie Kobza not to seek a second term, while anticipated, is both significant and troubling.
Along with veteran Carol Carstensen, who will also step down after next April’s election, Kobza is a School Board member who has seriously embraced the difficult work of budgeting.
Since her election three years ago, Kobza has meticulously studied the intricate process by which the school district shapes it complex spending plans. A successful lawyer with a young family and multiple civic responsibilities, she nonetheless has carved time out of her weekly schedule to meet with experts on budgeting at the district’s Dayton Street headquarters and with independent analysts.
When Carstensen announced that she was stepping down after serving the better part of two decades on the board, the hope was that Kobza would fill the gap created by the loss of the body’s most serious player in the budget process.
That won’t happen. Kobza’s legitimate frustration with the way the board has operated combined with personal and professional demands to make her decide against seeking re-election.