SUNDAY EDITION Extra: A look at the candidates running for Jeffe - WDRB 41 Louisville News

SUNDAY EDITION Extra: A look at the candidates running for Jefferson County school board

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By Chris Otts and Toni Konz

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The million-dollar TV buys for Tuesday's election are geared toward the race between Alison Lundergan Grimes and Mitch McConnell.

But just as important to taxpayers in Louisville, some say, are three hotly contested races for seats on the Jefferson County Board of Education.

The school board oversees Jefferson County Public Schools' $1.3 billion annual budget – which is about twice what Louisville Metro government spends in a year.

Financial management is the biggest issue in the school board races after state Auditor Adam Edelen's critical examination of the district earlier this year. And the next board members, whose terms will begin in January, will have to decide whether to retain Superintendent Donna Hargens, whose contract runs out in June 2015.

Here's a quick look at the candidates and whether they are supported by three influential groups: the Jefferson County Teachers Association, the Bluegrass Fund and The Courier-Journal editorial board. The quotes come from a questionnaire the candidates completed for Greater Louisville Inc., unless the candidate did not respond to GLI's request. JCPS board chairwoman Diane Porter, who represents District 1, is not included because she is running unopposed.

Here are some other resources voters can use to inform themselves:

GLI's site with information from the candidates

JCPS district map

Videos of an hour-long candidate forum for each race, held by the 15th District PTA

District 3

Lee Bailey

Occupation: deputy PVA of Jefferson County

Quote: The bloated central office needs to be trimmed and the funds put to more productive use. The system needs to be adjusted to provide better "basic" education, remembering that all students are not college bound

Stephanie Horne

Occupation: attorney

Endorsements: Jefferson County Teachers Association


Quote: We need to make our schools outstanding. I see two keys: 1. Financial Stewardship. Edelen has provided a road map for better spending and millions in savings. It helped keep the school tax unchanged this year. We need to get money to classroom. 2. Commit to First Class Schools. No excuses. We need to address the achievement gap now, and help all our children reach their full potential.

Angie Moorin

Occupation: certified public accountant

Endorsements: Bluegrass Fund, The Courier-Journal


Quote: We are fortunate to have Dr. Hargens at the helm of JCPS. We have a great opportunity to support her vision of becoming the best urban school district in the nation. Our challenges are that we have 48% of our kindergartners entering the system deemed not ready to learn and we have 49% of our graduates leaving the system who are neither college nor career ready.

Louis Scarpellini

Occupation: retired professor

Quote: I believe in public schools. Education, like the motto over the gates of Harvard says ‘Education is power.'

Jan Scholtz

Occupation: real estate agent


Quote: We have an opportunity to achieve great advances in education at JCPS. The public is very aware of our low student achievement levels and are demanding change. The sense of urgency is now. The biggest challenge is business as usual. JCPS needs to implement all intervention resources necessary to help the students achieve academic success.

District 5

Richard Brown

Occupation: business manager at the University of Louisville

Endorsements: Bluegrass Fund


Quote: Parents do not send their children TO magnet schools; they send their children AWAY from unruly, failing neighborhood schools. It's time we make our neighborhood schools as good, if not better, than magnet schools on the other side of town. Semple is our neighborhood school; test scores declined. JCPS is mismanaged. I shall change JCPS for the better.

Linda Duncan

Occupation: retired teacher, JCPS board member since 2006

Endorsements: Jefferson County Teachers Association, The Courier-Journal

Quote: I am running for my third term to continue the progress we are making in improving achievement (80.6% grad rate 2014, 52% meeting college and career benchmarks), addressing barriers poverty is imposing on 67% of our students (inadequate food, lack of medical care, lack of quality early childhood ed experiences, unstable homes too often in violent communities) by adding such programs as Breakfast in the Classroom, Blessings in a Backpack, summer Bus Cafes, nurses, mental health counselors, Louisville Linked, and more.

David Hittle

Occupation: consultant


Quote: I'm running for the school board because I fear its unregulated ability to alter the pocketbooks of the citizens of Jefferson County. I believe the most important responsibility for a board member is financial responsibility.

District 6

Carol Ann Haddad

Occupation: legal secretary, administrative liaison, JCPS board member since 1990, past chair of JCPS board

Quote: I am running for another term because I have been doing this a long time and I love it. I think that we have made progress helping children in need, reducing the inequities in education and making children successful. But there is still a lot to be done.

Patrick John Hughes

Occupation: founder and CEO, Louisville Hughes Inc.


Quote: I've helped my three children successfully navigate Jefferson County Public Schools. Now I want to help yours do the same!

Lisa Willner

Occupation: executive director, Kentucky Psychological Association; psychology instructor, Bellarmine University

Endorsements: Jefferson County Teachers Association, The Courier-Journal, Bluegrass Fund


Quote: A 21st century public school system should prepare students for college, careers, and well-rounded, happy lives. I am running for School Board to accelerate our community's education goals, including 55,000 Degrees, to protect taxpayer dollars, and to bring change to a seat held by a longtime incumbent.

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