School Board Candidate Responses: How should CCSD respond to cuts to the funding model?

As part of our goal here at County 17 of informing voters for this year’s elections, we sent out unique questions for candidates in state, county, and city elections, to let you better know your candidates.

This week, we are posting answers from school board candidates. The general election is Nov. 6.

Given funding woes at the state level, how should CCSD respond to potential cutbacks or adjustments to the funding model? Please provide specific recommendations as opposed to vague policy statements. (limit 500 words)

Linda Bricker

I know you said you do not want vague answers here to your questions so first and foremost I think it is important to let people know I have never served on the school board. In saying this, perhaps all should know that my answers on funding models would probably be at the least vague! I believe questions are sometimes intended  to subdue a candidate and make him feel less than brilliant on the subject at hand. So with that, I will tell you what I always did when raising three boys by myself and the funds were scarce. I always tightened my belt and my kids went without a lot of things they would have liked. It was in those times that ingenuity had to play an important role in making sure my family was content and felt important. We created fun together and even then walking was free. I think your reading audience understands the need to cut and adjust funds when needed.  Businesses have been doing this for decades. As for our schools, if the funding isn’t there what do we do? I am a person that thinks the government has far too much control over our schools already and that goes double for our children.  I know there are a lot of programs right now that should have never been implemented in the first place. I am speaking of high-paid paras for every reason you can come up with. I was told the other day by one of them, that our school district wastes a lot of money. No surprise here I’m sure. Everyone wants the best for kids and Gillette is no exception. If we stopped trying so hard to eliminate great things for our kids such as Bible clubs or other morally-based programs and eliminated others such as politically correct classes on diversity of every kind we might save some here. Yes, kids and money! I have never lived in a time where you could speak about any unconscionable or depraved subject in a classroom, but couldn’t speak about God or His Son Jesus without offense to other students. Perhaps it is time to scrap liberal ideas and begin again with a God-Centered classroom. Our children crave high values and ethical standards and yet we keep pushing liberal agendas thought up by liberal experts who need to go along with these things to feed their own abhorrent ideas. Just saying!

Doug Cox
(No photo provided.)
When and if funding is cut by the state the first thing the district needs to do is take a hard look at where we are spending money that can be saved, and still offer students all the current opportunities that afford them the best well rounded education in the state.  As I am not a current board member it is hard to get into exactly what would need to be cut from the district because I do not have access to specifics in the current budget.   There are always ways to tighten the purse straps.  I would always look at making those adjustments keeping the student’s education a foremost priority.

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David Foreman
(Candidate did not respond to questionnaire by the deadline.)

Joseph Lawrence
(No photo provided.)
In the past few years, CCSD has done a lot of belt tightening to be proactive in assuring that our students would still be receiving the best education we could give them. It is therefore somewhat difficult to add more cuts .However, we must be prepared to consider continued evaluation of all potential avenues of capital preservation including combining more job descriptions, and not replacing retiring staff. If these measures are not adequate, we will have to look at programs not included in the guaranteed basket of goods. This would include courses with historically small student participation. Lastly, if needed, and if enrollment is not adequate, we may be forced to look at combining schools or closing single schools. All of these measures most likely not be needed because we have prepared for these contingencies.

Anne Ochs (2-year term)
(Candidate did not respond to questionnaire by the deadline.)

Larry Steiger
(No contact information on file.)


Originally from New Mexico, Killough began his career writing freelance for a weekly magazine in Albuquerque while completing his undergraduate degree. In addition to reporting on uranium mining in western New Mexico, he spent three years reporting in western North Dakota during the height of the oil boom. He can be reached at or 701-641-6603.