The are eight candidates competing for five seats on the State College Area school board.
In the next eight posts, we’ll be looking at who they are, where they stand on some key issues, and what their priorities are. For the incumbent board members, we'll also take a close look at some key votes. And I asked each of the candidates to describe an issue or decision, in the past four years, that they thought the board handled well; and an issue that, with the benefit of hindsight, they thought the board should have handled differently.
If you want more info on the candidates’ biographies, check out Voters Guide in Saturday's paper. You can also go here to watch one-on-one CNET interviews, the League of Women Voters forum, and the AAUW and StateCollege.com forum.
A note about what it means to be State College Area school board member:
Board members approve all spending for the district, directly interview and hire the top administrator and approve contracts with employee unions.
That last issue makes up the largest part of the district’s budget. And it’s especially important this year, as the contracts for teachers expired in June and as paraprofessionals and secretaries have been working under an expired contract for two years.
With about 1,300 employees, the State College Area School District is the third largest employer in the county — behind Penn State and Mount Nittany Medical Center, but ahead of state government, county government and WalMart. The district has a budget of about $110.81 million.