The Madison Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is sponsoring a Madison School Board candidate forum.
Each of the four candidates – incumbent Arlene Silveira and her challenger, Nichelle Nichols, along with Mary Burke and Michael Flores, who are competing for an open seat – has confirmed his/her attendance.
The forum will take place Wednesday, March 21, from 7:00 – 8:30 pm at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 326 South Segoe Road. The church, at the corner of Segoe and Mineral Point roads on the city’s West Side, has plenty of free parking.
Candidates will field questions from the audience.
The Madison School Board races have drawn attention like no others in recent years, largely driven by the discussion over how to best close the achievement gap between minority and majority students. The school board will also be the first to write work rules for teachers and other employees under the state’s new collective bargaining law.
Silveira, who has been on the board since 2006, is director of global custom sales for Promega Corporation. Nichols is vice president of education and learning at the Urban League of Greater Madison. Burke is a former state Commerce secretary and former president of the Boys and Girls Club of Madison. Flores is a Madison firefighter.
The election is April 3.
Based in Indianapolis, SPJ is a national membership organization that promotes high professional and ethical standards among journalists, First Amendment principles and the belief that a free and vigorous press is vital in a representative democracy. The Madison professional chapter was formed around 1990. Membership costs $75 annually, and it is open to journalists who spend at least half of their professional life writing or editing work for publication.