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ELECTION PREVIEW: District 186 Subdistrict 1
Hiring a new superintendent, finding cuts to plug a multimillion dollar budget deficit, and helping the school district's image are some of the major challenges facing the next Springfield school board. Four of the seven sub-districts are being contested.
Sub-district 1 pits current school board member Lisa Funderburg against Teresa Jones, who works for the Illinois State Senate. The relationship between former superintendent Dr. Walter Milton Jr. and school board was often contentious. So, how will these two candidates make sure the relationship with the new superintendent doesn't become strained?
"Open and honest communication," Funderburg said. "I look forward to the opportunity to select a new superintendent."
"We need to meet with our superintendent and let him know we are one body," Jones said. "We are not against each other. We are here to work together."
Despite cutting more than $6 million from the budget, District 186 still is millions more in the red. So what other cuts should be looked at?
"Changing the high school scheduling to a trimester format," Funderburg said. "That would save slightly over a million dollars."
"They are looking at 1900, the administrative office, and saying how much money is in there," Jones said. "I think we need to start looking at those positions and seeing where we can cut from there."
Sub-district 1 encompasses the central west side. What are the needs in that area?
"Once you are on the board, it's your responsibility to make decisions that benefit all students across the city," Funderburg said.
"I want them to come to me and say this is what I want from my board member," Jones said. "This is what I would like for you to take back to the other board members to discuss. This is what we are looking at. I don't see that being done."
Election day is April 9.
See Andrew Hansen's raw interview with Lisa Funderburg.
See Andrew Hansen's raw interview with Teresa Jones.