Grand Central and Toastmasters hosted a candidate forum, with about 50 people present — and half the candidates on the ballot for the upcoming Board of Education election.
There are six candidates vying for three seats on the board of education. None of the candidates on the ballot will be incumbents come Nov. 7 .
Toby Tyner, Andy Harder and Angela Becker spent about an hour answering questions — much of them about a $60 million bond issue that will be on the ballot along with them.
That bond is designed to renovate the high school — more than half of the bond issue funds are designated for that project — renovate Walton Rural Life Center, improve storm shelters elementary schools throughout the district and improve security at the high school.
Three candidates missed the forum due to scheduling conflicts. Mallory Morton and Jennifer Budde both notified the Kansan prior to the forum they could not be at the forum due to previous commitments. David Oller notified moderators early in the planning process he was not available, involved in a soccer game on Thursday night.
Questions from the crowd included asking what the issues are that prompted each candidate to run, if the candidates would have voted to move forward the current bond issue, specific places where USD 373 can cut costs, if candidates have been endorsed by the National Educator’s Association, plans for if the bond issue fails, how candidates will help sell the bond to support the decision already made, dealing with racial issues in schools, how candidates will work with other board members, how to let others know about the quality of students produced by Newton schools, how the candidates will balance being part of the board while also working a full time job and if the board can help improve parental involvement in schools.
The next candidate forum scheduled will be at 9 a.m. Sept. 28 at Kidron Bethel Village.