There is just one primary race in my neighborhood…that for the seat in District 8 of the Milwaukee Public School Board. There are three very qualified candidates running but I am supporting Megan O’Halloran.

Ms. O’Halloran is active in the greater Milwaukee community and understands the financial restrictions that limit the ability of the Milwaukee Public Schools to improve their programs and overall results. She is in favor of limiting class sizes and studying how MPS utilizes its resources. She is also dubious about charter and voucher schools that have no responsibility to the school board or the taxpayers. She is also willing to lobby in Madison to gain additional support for the MPS system (something that I don’t think is paid enough attention). I feel she is the best suited of the three candidates to help MPS progress in the near future.

I do like one of the positions held by candidate Kathryn Gabor: ” To improve parent engagements, she said, the district needs to educate parents on strategies that support their children in school, make better use of their volunteer talents and connect them with resources in the community.” Yes by all means!! But I question her commitment to reducing class size…she proposes 25 – 30 for a cap…omg…I would think 15 – 20 should be the target. And her waffling on voucher schools is a red flag for me.

The third candidate is Derek Beyer…a former teacher at Bay View High School and veteran of the US Air Force. Mr. Beyer’s experience as an educator is attractive but we have had a number of former teachers and principals on the board over the past decade and it hasn’t seemed to have gained us much traction. But his ideas about restrictions on voucher schools are attractive as is his commitment to empower teachers and educators.

But after considering the qualifications and backgrounds of all three candidates, I still feel that Megan O’Halloran is the best choice this Tuesday!

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