School Board Candidates Battle over Budget

Sandy Cullen:

Madison School Board members Carol Carstensen and Bill Clingan say they have worked hard to keep years of budget cuts away from the classroom.
But Lawrence Winkler and Lawrie Kobza, who are challenging them in the April 5 election, say the incumbents and other School Board members haven’t done enough to deal with the long-term financial challenges plaguing the district.
After more than a decade of state revenue caps that limit how much money school districts can raise in taxes without going to referendum — and with three referendums slated for a special election May 24 — this year’s board race could serve as a vote of confidence for board members or a mandate for change.
Both Kobza and Winkler have made change a rallying cry. And while Clingan and Carstensen admit that there are always ways in which the board can do better, they maintain that many of their challengers’ claims are unfounded.