As this year's Franklin School Board election moves along, last year's passions and perspectives on school issues still linger. Will it be significant enough to influence the vote? This all could rest upon one issue - the likability of the school district’s administration.
The concerns about administrative policies and actions began with several decisions made by them, some of which were OK'd by the Board. These included shifting administrators between schools and Superintendent Patz looking for employment elsewhere in Wisconsin. It began a trend with parents lacking faith and trust in the district leadership, and supporting candidates that exhibited similar views. Board Members like Janet Evans, who in a political world would generally receive flack over her NO votes on many district motions, was being treated in a higher regard. In 2011's School Board election, incumbent Board Member Linda Witkowski began to switch votes to side with Evans. In addition, the newly-elected Tim Nielson ran partly due to frustrations with the administration’s decision to move popular Robinwood Principal Tom Reinke to Franklin High School’s staff. These new votes led to Evans almost taking the Presidency of the School Board last year. However, she was short by one vote.
Looking at the upcoming election, similar points about Superintendent Patz and the administration are coming out of the woodwork. Additionally, talk about an upcoming referendum is taking focus. While parents should be pleased the district is bringing up upgrading existing facilities, concerns over the administration is becoming an issue. This could kill chances for upgraded facilities and lead to a School Board under leadership of Janet Evans. Such leadership could be the final blow for any referendum for many more years, as Evans has made indications of her lack of support for referendums. Parents in support of upgraded facilities shouldn’t vote against their passionate position on this topic in the upcoming election.