School Board candidates stake out their positions at 2019 primary forum

Negassi Tesfamichael:

The nine candidates in a crowded primary for three seats on the Madison School Board made their case to an audience gathered at Christ Presbyterian Church Tuesday evening.

The forum, organized by the Grandparents United for Madison Public Schools, was the first time the candidates shared the stage during the current election cycle.

The fast-paced forum moved quickly through a number of issues, ranging from how the School Board should handle new programs and initiatives started in the district and how best to evaluate them, to how they would handle hypothetical situations that might arise if elected.

Candidates also answered several yes-or-no questions on their support of Wisconsin’s private school voucher program, emergency licenses for teachers, restoring collective bargaining rights for teachers and itemizing the amount of a local property tax bill that goes to fund private schools.

Kaleem Caire, the founder and CEO of One City Schools, is running against Cris Carusi, a University of Wisconsin-Madison employee and public education advocate, for Seat 3. Both candidates will likely advance through the primary race since a third candidate, Skylar Croy, withdrew from the race last month. Croy’s name will still be on the Feb. 19 ballot.