CANDIDATE FORUM: Lubbock ISD School Board, District 5

KCBD NewsChannel 11 and the League of Women Voters are teaming up to bring you a series of candidate forums in advance of Lubbock's May elections.

Thursday, LISD School Board candidates for District 5, Sara Duncan and Dan Pope were in our studio to answer questions from viewers and from the Lubbock League of Women voters.

Information provided by the Lubbock League of Women Voters.

Sara Duncan

Education: BA Tulane University, MA Texas Tech Univ.

Dan Pope

Education: BBA, Finance - Texas Tech University, 1985

Describe the training and experience that qualify you for this office.

Sara Duncan: 35 yrs classroom experience Dept Chair English, oversaw dept. budget Oversaw implementation of highly academic programs (LEAP & IB) Taught in LISD, TTU summer programs, South Plains (currently employed) Honors: 1992 outstanding high school teacher of Texas, awarded by Gov. Ann Richards

Dan Pope: 27 years of business experience. 18 years as a business owner - 5 years of service on LISD Board - Parent of two LISD students - Wide experiences of volunteer leadership - First Methodist Church, Covenant Health System Board, Lubbock Area United Way Board, Lubbock Chamber of Commerce Board

All school programs face decreased funding. Which programs would you propose be cut back and which programs would you emphasize?

Sara Duncan: Many areas exist that involve budgets: academics/athletics/extracurricular activities/electives (music, theatre, art, vocational) (see #3). For every campus, I support a committee composed of a building administrator and department chairs who would examine areas involving money and suggest budget reductions. Each of the areas is important, and none should be completely removed. The available resources should be used frugally.

Dan Pope: In the face of continued funding pressure, each LISD program should be evaluated on its individual merits. I will continue to advocate for funding decisions that protect what happens in the classroom. I also believe that we expect a great deal from our teachers and should look for ways to keep their pay and benefits competitive with other districts around the state.

How much emphasis should be given to the programs that are provided by the Byron Martin ATC (Advanced Technology Center)?

Sara Duncan: The Byron Martin Technology Center is extremely important to our students. The core curriculum is covered in each of our campuses; however, real world application of knowledge is available at the center in such areas as auto tech, metal shop, engineering, and software use. One of my former South Plains students (now at ATC) has been privy to the purchase of one of his ideas by a major corporation which paid him well for his creative thinking.

Dan Pope: The programs that are currently provided (as well as future offerings) at the Byron Martin ATC (BMATC) are critical to LISD student success. The BMATC effort is crucial in our workforce development efforts. The BMATC prepares many students for professional/trade schools after high school completion. I am proud of the cooperative effort between LISD, SOuth Plains College and the business community at BMATC. BMATC is a shining star of LISD.