Five seeking three seats on Mason City School Board (AUDIO)

MASON CITY — School board elections take place tomorrow, and one of the topics covered during last Thursday night’s candidate forum for those running for the three available seats on the Mason City School Board was about vouchers that would allow state tax dollars to “follow the student” to another public, private, or home school. Advocates say it allows parents to get state tax money to use to send their child to the school of their choice, while critics argue that sending state tax dollars to private parochial schools is a violation of the separation of church and state.


Richard Haas says he’d rather work toward excellence so people would want to send their kids to the Mason City Community School District rather than feel like they are being forced to come.


Alan Steckman says he’s against the voucher proposal because too much money is already being taken away from our public schools.


Jacob Schweitzer says having a voucher system would generate what he calls a class of “haves” and a class of “have nots”.


Janna Arndt says she’s not for vouchers since parents have a choice on where they want to send their children to school.


Jodi Draper says open enrollment should be the competition process in deciding where a child is sent to school instead of having a voucher system.


Draper and Arndt are incumbents on the board, while Haas, Steckman and Schweitzer are each running for school board for the first time. Paul DeRoy decided not to run for another term.


=== Polls in Mason City will be open from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Registered voters can cast their ballot at any of the five vote centers that will be open: the First Covenant Church at 411 South Ohio; the First Presbyterian Church at 100 South Pierce; the Mason City School Administration Building at 1515 South Pennsylvania; the Rolling Acres Church at 340 19th Southwest; or at the Cerro Gordo County Courthouse at 220 North Washington.


Listen back to the entire candidate forum from last Thursday by clicking on the left side of the audio player below

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