Mark ChrislipSchool Board Member Mark Chrislip

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

With the upcoming elections for City Commission and School Board, we wanted to take time to highlight each candidate in the race.

All candidates were sent a questionnaire to fill out and respond to and stated that their responses to those questions will be presented as sent to us with no editing.

Today, we feature School Board Member Mark Chrislip

Please tell about your background and qualifications for a position on the School Board

– Lived in Eudora for 37 years. Married for 38 years. I have 3 grown children who all went to Eudora schools K thru 12. Also have 10 grandkids, 3 of which are attending the grade school.

– I’m the Director of Sales and Marketing for White’s Electronics

– Served on the School Board for 24 years.

The most important issue facing the school board is funding. Tell us how you would decide on any budget cuts that may need to be made now and in the coming year.

The new state-funding bill recently passed is the single biggest challenge we face here in Eudora. As a school board member my job is to hold our administrators accountable to developing a strong budget that will allow us to be the best with what we have. Unfortunately the budget shortfalls will cut deep into our budget and that means we will be faced with difficult decisions. I will be committed to making sure that we analyze the situation and look at all possible options and that all the stake holders have input into the decision making process.

Do you support raising the local mill rate to cover any under funding by the state and why or why not?

Unfortunately the state legislators have put us in a very difficult position. As I stated above we are looking at deep cuts in our budget. I do not support the idea that in order to maintain our current level of funding we should place that burden on the local patrons.

The State Board of Education has adopted and begun implementation of the Common Core Standards in school districts through the state. What is your position on the Common Core Standards and if they were to become optional, would you support keeping or removing them from the curriculum in the Eudora School District?

Over my tenure on the School Board there have been many controversial programs such as QPA , No Child Left Behind, Common Core, and others that have influenced the way we educate our kids here in Eudora. Any time the Federal Government tries to mandate educational strategies at the local level I’m always a bit leery of their intentions. That said, I’ve seen how well our administrators and teachers have embraced these programs in manner that has a positive influence on the quality of educations we provide. The district has embraced Common Core with terrific strategies and a lot of hard work to make sure we continue the quality expected in Eudora. Should the mandate become optional, I trust our team to continue the things that are working and look at options where we might have gaps. This district is committed to the to a strong set of core values and a strategic plan that will ensure we maintain a high commitment to the education of our kids. So, whether we have Common Core or not, I’m committed to do what I can to hold us accountable to these values and strategic plans.

What other issues do you see as important decisions the School Board will face in the near future?

Recently the board had the opportunity to visit all the buildings in the district and see first hand some of our immediate challenges. Some of those challenges include the following:

– Strengthening the safety and security of our buildings. Unfortunately in this day and age it is imperative that we have strong safety measures in place to protect our kids. We have safe schools in Eudora but we also areas that need to improve, all of which, cost money not budgeted at this time.

– We have needs in the area of technology. Eudora has always been committed to a strong technology strategy but technology continues to change at a rapid pace and we have gaps that need improved.

– Extra-curricular activities are a strong value in Eudora and in order to maintain high quality, we need to improve and replace some of the equipment, uniforms, musical instruments and other critical items.

– Maintaining our commitment to small class sizes.

Why do you want to sit on the School Board?

I’m extremely proud of this district and all we’ve accomplished for the past 24 years and I want to be a part of helping maintain the quality of education we provide.

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The City elections will be held on Tuesday, April 7. Polls will be open from 7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. Voters can vote early by mail or by going to the Douglas County Courthouse.  For more information on advance voting, you can visit the Douglas County Elections website: https://www.douglascountyks.org/depts/voting-and-elections/advance-voting

Three of the five candidates running for the City Commission will be selected. On the School Board, six candidates are vying for four seats.

We will have more in depth information about polling places as we near Election Day. The remaining candidates will be profiled over the next few days.

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