Chamber to sponsor candidate forum Oct. 23

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Candidates supplied with questions

The A+ Coalition, an initiative of the Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce, mailed the following questions to each School Board candidate Oct. 4, giving them two weeks to reply with their written responses. The intent is to provide the public with information to inform their vote in time for early voting which is Oct. 23– 30, excluding Sunday, and election day, Nov. 6.

Candidates’ answers received by the deadline will be published Oct. 22. The Coalition has also scheduled a candidate forum at the Natchitoches Arts Center Building, 716 2nd St. Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 6 p.m. Candidates will each be given three minutes to speak. The forum will be live streamed via social media. The Chamber does not endorse any candidate but does support policies that align with A+ Coalition Goals, outlined below.

By the end of the 2025-26 school year:

* Zero C, D or F schools in the district

* 50 percent mastery or better on 3-8 assessments

* More than 50 percent of students should graduate with some form of dual enrollment credit

* District ACT score ≥ 21

* 95 percent graduation rate For more information about the A+ Coalition visit apluscoalition.com.

School Board Candidate Questionnaire

1. What experience do you have with complicated budgets? When you are given a very lengthy budget for the district, what will be your process to determine if it is a good budget for the system?

2. In an era of more limited financial resources, how will you enlist support for bond issues or public-school spending from conservative voters or taxpayers with no children in the public schools? How can the school board prove itself accountable to those citizens?

3. In your view, what has the district done well over last five years? What has the district done poorly that you would change? Please provide specific examples.

4. You represent a specific part of Natchitoches Parish—how will you balance the needs of your specific constituents with the needs of the overall school district?

5. If a parent or a principal comes to you regarding, for example, a maintenance issue at a campus or a situation involving a particular teacher, how do you see your role as a school board member in resolving that issue?

6. Consider the goals of the A+ Coalition, do you believe those are achievable goals? Why or why not? Are any of particular importance to you? Why?