Planet Princeton held a forum for Princeton school board candidates on Monday, Oct. 3. All five candidates seeking a three-year term on the Princeton Board of Education were invited to attend and submit answers to written questions as well. Candidate Lisa Wu did not respond to any emails and did not participate in the forum.
Incumbent school board candidates Deb Bronfeld, Susan Kanter, and Dafna Kendal participated in the forum with newclomer Rita Rafalovsky.
The candidates discussed several topics during the hour-long forum. Planet Princeton developed the questions for the forum based on discussions at school board meetings, education issues that are being debated across the region and nation, and submissions from readers who completed the Planet Princeton election survey in August.
Each candidate gave an opening statement about why they are running for the school board. Candidates then answered the following questions befor giving a closing statement:
What is the greatest challenge the district faces?
Hundreds of new housing units are coming online in Princeton. How would you address issues of overcrowding in the district’s schools?
Many seniors and families can no longer afford to live in Princeton because of the high taxes. How can the district maintain excellence while also keeping costs in check and what are your specific ideas for reducing taxes?
What is your position on cannabis dispensaries in Princeton? How far from schools should they be located if you approve of them?
What are your thoughts on the district’s efforts when it comes to equity, inclusion, and eliminating racism? How would you rate the district’s performance in this area?
Gun violence in schools is a national issue. What do you think are the best solutions or approaches to address this issue in the school district? Do you believe schools need armed officers or armed teachers? Why or why not?
Sex education is another issue that has become a topic of debate in the nation and in surrounding school districts. What are your thoughts on the sex education curriculum in our schools? Do you believe certain books should be banned because they aren’t appropriate for children?
Planet Princeton will be publishing written candidate questionnaires in the coming days. Check back at planetprinceton.com for updates.