2019 Madison School Board election Commentary

Seat 3: Caire vs. Carusi
Logan Wroge:

“There’s no one in the history of Madison schools that has my professional record,” he said.

Carusi has reviewed budgets and policies during 12 years of attending School Board meetings and has actively served in parent leadership roles, which puts her in a “unique position of someone who’s not been on the board but really has been watching the board and knows what’s going on.”

The district needs to explore new teaching methods and school models, such as a school dedicated to performing arts, Caire said, along with increasing access to early childhood education and making the district attractive to retain families and draw in new ones.

“I also want (students) to have the type of education that’s going to prepare them to be problem-solvers in the future,” he said. “I don’t think any of our kids are getting that by a large measure, white kids, black kids. It’s the same old 13 years of liberal arts education that’s boring.”

Seat 4: Blaska vs. Muldrow:

Logan Wroge:

In the most ideologically divided Madison School Board race this year, David Blaska and Ali Muldrow offer stark contrasts for voters when they decide April 2 who takes over Seat 4.

Muldrow said the achievement gap is “what defines our community.” She wants to include information on “medically accurate, inclusive human growth and development” throughout the K-12 curriculum to teach children about anatomy, stages of development and how to better understand their emotions. She said a priority is having arts every day.

“More dance, more music, more theater, more planning time and smaller classrooms are things I care about,” said Muldrow, co-executive director of GSAFE, the Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools. “My opponent and I are really different people who have really different values and bring different priorities to the table.”

Blaska, a former Dane County supervisor and conservative blogger, argues the district is obsessed with “identity politics” and said correcting bad behaviors has become administratively burdensome. He wants teachers to be in charge of classrooms and principals in charge of schools. His priorities would be “discipline, discipline, discipline.”

“I’m very much a political realist. I’m doing this because it needs to be said, and because I know it will get a receptive audience,” Blaska said. Muldrow, he said, “is wedded to identity politics, and for her, everything is race and not behavior.”

In February, Muldrow won 56 percent of the vote in a four-way primary followed by Blaska with 23 percent.

Muldrow lost the 2017 race for Seat 6, and Blaska has not run for School Board previously.

Seat 5: Mertz vs Mirilli
Logan Wroge:

Six years ago TJ Mertz and Ananda Mirilli appeared on a primary ballot that resulted in Mirilli placing third behind another candidate (Sarah Manski) who dropped out after the primary, all-but ensuring Mertz’s victory. Now the two are finally going head-to-head April 2 for Seat 5.

Logan Wroge:

Seat 4
Ali Muldrow took in $14,144 this reporting cycle — with more than $5,500 coming from other fundraising committees — versus the $6,605 raised by David Blaska, a former Dane County Board supervisor and conservative blogger. Muldrow received $4,500 from MTI.

Muldrow, co-executive director of GSAFE, ended the reporting period with $14,241 in cash available. Blaska had a cash balance of $2,635.

Much more on the April 2, 2019 Madison School Board election, here.