West Candidates Questionnaire Johnny Winston, Jr.
Thank you for the opportunity to attend the West PTSO meeting on Monday March 5th . I enjoyed answering questions from parents and citizens and listening to responses from the other candidates. For more additional information about me, please go to my website: www.johnnywinstonjr.com or feel free to contact me by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or 4410224. If reelected on April 3rd, I look forward to working with you for the betterment of the school district. Here are my responses to the rest of the questions at the forum.
Question 7 – Please explain your views on additional charter schools given the success of Nuestro Mundo here in Madison and several offerings in Appleton just to name a few?
I am supportive of charter schools as long as they are under the leadership of the elected school board. In addition, they must have a strong educational plan that addresses the diverse needs of MMSD students. Lastly, it must provide accessibility for a wide variety of students. I’m sure Madison schools will have more Charter applications in the future. I look forward to reviewing their content and exploring the possibilities.
Question 8 – How can the school district provide for second languages to be taught to all students starting in Kindergarten and continuing through all grades?
Additional financial resources would be needed to provide this to our students. Leopold School provides Spanish through a grant from the University of Wisconsin. However, the Waunakee school district provides an embedded Spanish curriculum through its social studies curriculum called “World Languages.” Students study people and countries while speaking and listening to Spanish. It sounds like a wonderful opportunity to explore.
Question 9 – The Board will be hiring a new superintendent. Please discuss what you believe is the top 3 criteria for a superintendent.
I’ll answer both. If reelected on April 3rd, there will be several qualities that I will be looking for in hiring the next superintendent. These qualities include but are not limited to: strong leadership, fiscally prudent, and politically aware.
First, the next superintendent will need to have proven leadership. I would like them to have experience in educational leadership. Second, the organizational structure will have to change because of their will be fewer administrative staff perhaps, including sharing administrative staff with other school districts. Hopefully, their leadership will need to lead in collaborations that develop and build relationships with City and County government to share resources and strengthen infrastructure (e.g. bus service, large purchasing and technologies). They will also need to be cognizant of our current fiscal climate. Lastly, politically, the next superintendent must ensure the protection of the tax base of the school district by balancing the needs of students of color and lowincome students versus the needs of middle income and affluent families. In addition, the person must have the trust and respect of the elected school board and be able to work effectively with all of the members.
(Second question) You are free to ignore my request to address communication between Board and Administration/Superintendent, Boards communication with public, Superintendent and Public.
There are many divergent views and opinions. Citizens elect board members to make decisions and represent the community. Sometimes the decisions are not popular, however, we can listen to each other and agree to disagree, but not be disagreeable.
Question 10 – What role should School Board, Parents and Educator play in changing state law which adversely affect our schools?
School Boards, parents and educators will play in critical role in changing state laws. The current funding formula, revenue limits, qualified economic offer, unfunded and under funded mandates all need to be analyzed and changed because they affect our school district adversely. These rules make advisories out of everyone while our state elected officials never fix the problem.
On Thursday, March 29, at 6:30 p.m. in the McDaniels Auditorium of the Doyle Administration Building, an information and advocacy session will be held related to the state budget. The meeting will provide information about the budget and advocacy “talking points” to contact legislators and gain support for some of the budget’s provisions. Together, we can work to educate legislators and change school finance.
Question 11 – (For Rick and Maya) What accountability mechanisms do you envision?
Question 12 – What is your position on the health insurance issue for teachers, that is the WPS option versus HMO’s?
Health insurance is bargained with the local teachers union. As an incumbent member of the board, I have a responsibility under Board Policy not to divulge confidential and privileged communication that has been discussed in closed session meetings of the Board relative to teacher negotiations. However, I can tell you that I did support our custodians, food service workers and Administrators agreeing to a threeHMO employee health insurance option.