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Sioux Falls School Board Candidates Weigh In Before Election

April 7, 2014, 6:08 PM by Leland Steva

Sioux Falls School Board Candidates Weigh In Before Election

Voters will also decide a spot on the Sioux Falls School Board. Current president of the board, Doug Morrison, is running against real estate agent, Roger Russell.

Morrison has spent the last six years on the Sioux Falls school board. He says during his time on the board the district has accomplished a lot, including getting the Career Technical Education Academy up and running.

Russell says that he thinks the school board needs a new voice for future success.

The Sioux Falls School Board oversees more than 22,000 students and 1,700 teachers and staff. Now there's a chance for voters to change the board.  Morrison wants to serve a third term. He's happy with the board's accomplishments during his tenure, but says more works needs to be done.

"We're still not graduating 15 to 20 percent of our kids. That weighs on me every day. We have to continue to look for ways to engage kids in learning; not every kid learns the same way," Morrison said.

Russell will have two kids in Sioux Falls public schools next year. He believes the school board should be more open to input from parents.

"The overwhelming thing that I've heard is that calls and emails have been sent to board members and they're not being responded to. My hope is that when I do get on the school board that I would respond to them," Russell said.

Both agree more money for teachers is important. But they disagree on the controversial topic of Common Core. Sioux Falls students began Common Core testing last month, and Morrison believes in the process.

"It does allow us to benchmark how we're doing maybe against another neighboring district or another state and so I'm excited about that portion of it," Morrison said.

Russell, however, doesn't agree with how the district handled putting Common Core in place.

"I just really think with the implementation and the way it was done, there was not public input in my opinion," Russell said.

Voters will get their chance to decide who ultimately takes the seat on Tuesday.

Whoever is elected to the position will serve a three-year term beginning in July.

For all Election Day coverage, visit the KELOLAND Sioux Falls Elections page

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