Nine candidates are running for four seats on the Danville school board in the April 9 consolidated election. Here's a look at the candidates and the six questions The News-Gazette asked them.
Daniel D. Brown, 56, Danville.
Political experience: Danville school board, 2005-present.
Family: Wife, Nancy, and two children.
Other: Past member of various civic organizations and former coach for youth athletic programs.
Why are you running for school board, and what will you bring?
I've served on the board for nearly eight years. I'm very proud of District 118 and opportunities it provides to students, their parents and the community. Over the last few years, the district has adjusted for changes in our community and the expectation of our educational system. I would like to continue to be part of that organization as we further attempt to adjust to the current economic challenges.
What actions should the district take to remain financially stable in light of unstable state funding and declining property tax revenues? Would you support raising taxes?
We must continue with conservative management of the funds and resources available to the district. Increased costs and reduced revenues might result in a reduction of programs, so we must continue to weigh the perceived benefit against the potential cost of each expenditure.
I have not previously supported a property tax increase. Nearly everyone in our community is learning to operate with increased expenses and limited income. The district, like every other form of government, should not be different. With the current tax rate attributed to the school district, recognizing the condition of the local, state and national economy, I find it very unlikely that circumstances would arise that would result in me supporting an increase in the property tax rate.
What steps can be taken to ensure that more students meet/exceed learning standards and graduate?
An individual's learning experience is determined by a number of factors, many beyond the control of the teachers, district and board. It's the board's obligation to establish a proper learning environment by ensuring our educational providers are equipped with the materials, tools, training, supervision and direction to facilitate the learning experience of each student.
Superintendent Mark Denman is retiring in June 2015. What qualities should the next superintendent have, and what should his/her priorities be?
Managerial experience in educational settings, proven communication skills and experience with creative application of innovative educational concepts.
How can the district attract and retain top-notch staff?
The district needs to continue to provide meaningful compensation, training and benefits and help in creating a positive work environment that encourages professional development for our staff.
If a parent or community member came to you with a concern, what should your role be in resolving the issue?
This has occurred many times over the last eight years. Sometimes the questions is directed toward specific issues that have been addressed by the board, and I have attempted to explain either my position on the issue or how the board has addressed the question. However, when questions are directed toward management or educational issues, as a board member, I'm often not in a position to provide specific responses and will generally attempt to assist finding the principal, department manager or supervisor who can provide a specific response.