Students Question Candidates For School Board

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"They came here blinded. They didn't know what kind of questions we were going to ask so I think they did good for being put on the spot," said Halle Suderman, North High student.

About a hundred students from around the Wichita school district came out on Wednesday to ask potential candidates some tough questions about the nearly $30 million dollars in budget cuts.

"Last year was drivers ed. That was a big one. We were kind of scared about sports and the arts and all the other stuff. So we really wanted to know what their mindset on what was important to them and what they would cut for their budgets," said Suderman.

"The budget cuts are going so high each year. It hurts to know that they won't get the same opportunities that I'm getting," said Rosa Lucas-Rodriguez, West High student.

The Superintendent's Student Advisory Committee held the candidate forum to give their peers an experience in their civic duties.

"They'll go back to their parents and say, 'Hey, I went to this today and I really liked how this person talked because of their views on how they should spend money.' It'll influence their parents to vote for the right person that'll make the right decisions for our district," said Suderman.

The candidates were asked questions from what an ideal school year may look like, to how they felt about school boundaries.

"Asked stuff that was important to the district and important to hear our opinions as prospective board members. I though it was very thoughtful, very well done," said Phil Neff, an at-large candidate for the school board.

These students also had a chance to talk one-on-one with candidates and then cast their ballots for a run-up to the real election.

"I really hope they really listened and they took into consideration what each person valued," said Suderman.

Many of the students who are 18 will have a chance to vote next Tuesday in the general election.

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