Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the levy referred to by Art Coulson.
There are four candidates, three of whom are incumbents.
- Art Coulson (incumbent)
- Gary Huusko (incumbent)
- Mike Roseen (incumbent)
- Craig Angrimson
After opening statements, the candidates responded to their first question, which asked them to provide their top three priorities for the district.
Coulson answered first. He spoke about the importance of passing the levy referendum question, which will be on the ballot on Nov. 5. The proposed levy would raise an additional $10 million each year for the district. Coulson said that getting the levy passed is the top priority.
His next priority, Coulson said, would be to “continue the strong communication that we have between the district and the community.”
His third priority would be to address the racial achievement gap. The school magnet program has helped, he said, and the district is “moving in the right direction, but we’re not moving quickly enough."
Addressing the achievement gap, Coulson said is "about raising the bar for everybody, and closing the gap.”
Huusko’s top three priorities were the following:
- Strengthen the relationship between the business community and schools.
- Reduce and eliminate the achievement gap.
- Continue to utilize district resources well.
Huusko did not list his top three priorities in order of importance.
The school district is making progress in addressing the achievement gap, Huusko said, but he wants to see the district continue to focus on the issue.
Regarding district resources, he said that even with budget concerns, the board should make sure that teachers and schools have the resources they need to “continue to offer a great education.”
The budget is always the top priority, Roseen said because the school board has to work within the budget that it’s given.
Secondly, the curriculum has to be up-to-date, challenging and meet the needs of future students, he said.
He named his third top priority as school safety and security.
“I think if you were to talk to parents, especially those with younger kids, the number one concern that they have is safety for their children in our schools,” Roseen said.
Angrimson said that the passing of the levy is an important priority for the district. At the same time, he asked if there were ways that the district could show more fiscal responsibility.
“I saw some stuff on the budget myself that drew a red flag,” Angrimson said.
If elected, he said that he would look at the budget to see if there are ways that the district could tighten it.
He added that he would be interested in setting up a casual forum with parents because speaking during a school board meeting where cameras are present may be intimidating to some people.
His third priority would be to advance technology through the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) program.
The forum will be available on E-TV, Eagan's public access channels, at a later date.