Editorial: No reason to change what works with school boardDistrict 196 School Board member Rob Duchscher said he was particularly nervous heading into Tuesday’s board election. In retrospect, though, those nerves seem unnecessary.
District 196 School Board member Rob Duchscher said he was particularly nervous heading into Tuesday’s board election. In retrospect, though, those nerves seem unnecessary.
Duchscher finished fourth among the four incumbents who won reelection to the board Tuesday, and he still had nearly twice as many votes as his nearest challenger. Rosemount resident Jackie Magnuson, who led all candidates with 2,583 votes, finished more than 100 votes ahead of the combined totals of the election’s fifth- and sixth place candidates.
The outcome of Tuesday’s election was clear early on, and looking back it’s hard to believe Duchscher ever had reason for concern.
Barring controversial issues, incumbents have an edge in school board elections. And this board has given voters little reason to call for a change. There have been some challenges in recent years, with the district forced to make tens of millions of dollars in budget adjustments, but the district has handled those decisions well and resident never had reason to feel like they excluded from the process.
In the past year, the district has dealt with the challenges posed by delays in state funding and overhauled its middle school system, and district students continue to excel by many measures in academics, athletics and fine arts.
If voters wanted a new face on the school board, it would have been because many of the incumbents up for election have served for a long time, and voters were interested in some fresh perspectives. Not because the board has disappointed with its performance.
This was a low-key campaign all along. Election signs were few and far between, as were letters to the editor. There was little to suggest residents were hungry for change.
That makes sense. There were some well qualified candidates among the three non-incumbents on this year’s ballot. We don’t doubt they will find a way to contribute down the line. But it’s hard to argue voters made a bad choice Tuesday.