Christina Gomez Schmidt wins close Madison School Board contest; Nicki Vander Meulen reelected

Logan Wroge:

As a member of the School Board, Gomez Schmidt, 48, is looking to prioritize the selection of a new, research-based reading curriculum for elementary students, building trust in the district with families, improving accountability and transparency, and effectively managing the budget.

The 32-year-old Pearson had made finding ways to expand 4-year-old kindergarten to a full-day program a pillar of her campaign, along with prioritizing teacher autonomy in the classroom and growing district partnerships with nonprofits and businesses.

Last week, it was announced Matthew Gutierrez would no longer be taking the Madison superintendent position, but instead is staying on as head of his suburban San Antonio school district.

It’s unclear whether Gomez Schmidt — who will be sworn in April 27 — will have a say on who replaces Gutierrez to become the School District’s next leader as the board still needs to weigh its options and come up with a timeline for moving forward.

The board met Monday night in closed session to discuss the superintendent situation, and a news conference on the topic is scheduled for Tuesday.

Additionally, the winners will likely decide on two November ballot asks of taxpayers — tentatively a $317 million facilities referendum and a $33 million operating referendum — which was planned to be voted on later this month.

Scott Girard:

A disappointed Strong said over the phone Monday night that “the voters have spoken and it is what it is,” while adding his congratulations to Vander Meulen. He cited the starting, stopping and restarting of his campaign due to a health issue in January along with the COVID-19 pandemic as challenges for his campaign, limiting his opportunities to canvass.

He said he still believes each of the comprehensive high schools should have a school resource officer and he hopes to see how he can help lower the disparities in out-of-school suspensions for black students, an issue he talked about often during his campaign.

“I’m going to continue my efforts with that and see what I can do to help to reduce those disparities and just make sure that all of our kids are getting a good, quality education,” he said.

Notes, links and commentary on Madison’s planned 2020 tax and spending increase referendum plans.

“The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”.

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

In addition, Madison recently expanded its least diverse schools.

April, 2020 election results.

Curated Education Information