Both candidates for the Hays school board race point to alleviating school crowding and boosting academic achievement as top priorities.
The incumbent, Marty Kanetzky, has served one term on the board. During that time, she worked on a committee that interviewed students with poor attendance and worked on a strategy to help them.
“I think we have a good system in place to identify at-risk students and keep them in school,” Kanetzky said.
She also served on a committee that selected a new online learning system that will allow students to access classes and school work remotely.
“This is going to allow students to learn at their own speed,” said Kanetzky. “This will allow them to access resources they might not be able to otherwise.”
She’s also proud that in a fast-growing district, the board has not had to raise taxes and was able to reduce the district's bond debt by $25 million by refinancing at lower interest rates.
How to control overcrowding and raise academic achievement remain challenges, though.
Debbie Muñoz, a former Kyle City Council member, is also vying for the seat.
“We’ve got a huge problem with overcrowding,” said Muñoz. “This is not the most efficient way to educate our kids.”
She advocated building another middle school to alleviate overcrowding, but that would ultimately be up to taxpayers, she said. Muñoz’s son is a fifth grader in the district.
Muñoz said standardized testing should be moved to the beginning of the year and said the results should be used to determine the educational needs of each student.
“I’m very passionate about the education of our kids,” Muñoz said. “I want our kids to love school. We push standardized testing and I feel we can do more to make sure our kids have that rich and vibrant education.”
Early voting runs through Tuesday; Election Day is Saturday.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described the district’s attempts to reduce its bond debt. School officials say they have reduced the district’s total bond repayment obligation by $25 million over the life of the bonds by refinancing at lower interest rates.