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East County Monday, Aug. 6, 2018 1 year ago

Manatee County School Board Seat 2: Alice Kaddatz

Meet the candidate.
by: Observer staff

Name: Alice S. Kaddatz

Age: 58

Occupation: Housewife; formerly a licensed insurance agent

Family: Married with six children ranging in age from 35 to 18

Government experience: Served on volunteer boards and volunteered in schools. 

Why are you running for this position?

I have concerns over the fact that half our students can not pass their third-grade state test, as well as the finances of the school district.

What uniquely qualifies you for this position?

I have volunteered in our schools for more than 25 years. I have a understanding of the struggles our teachers and students face and how the cuts to our schools have effected the classrooms.

What do you see as the three biggest challenges facing  the district and how do you purpose to address them?

  • First, we need to work on helping more of our students pass their third-grade state test.  We will need to evaluate why they are not passing this test and then give our teachers the needed support to improve this.
  • Second, we need to balance the budget. We cannot continue to take on more and more debt each year. Without being on the board and having access to all the needed information, I would only be guessing as to the answers to this.
  • Third, transparency. If the public has a question, answer it.  There are many intelligent people in this county, let them help us be better.

What ideas do you have to improve district operations?

I would start by listening to the problems and move forward from there.  Finding a superintendent that is highly qualified for the position would be another place to start.

How and when do you feel the board should move forward with the superintendent search?

A nationwide search needs to start as soon as the new board is in place.

Do you think the board should consider in-house candidates for the superintendent post? Why/not?

No.  My concern would be that in-house candidates may want to follow the current path of spending, lack of academic achievement and lack of transparency.  

What is your opinion of the school district's plan to ultimately set up an in-house police force, both short and long-term?

Given that there are not enough officers to place them in all our schools, I am comfortable with the district expanding it's in-house security program until we can have trained officers in our schools.  Keep in mind that we have officers and in-house at the district level already.

What other issues do you see as important for the district to address over the next three years and what ideas do you have about them?

The next important issue will be to tie teacher pay to the existing budget so that when the millage ends we will still be able to pay our teachers at a competitive rate.  

We as a district must start addressing our problems and stop kicking them down the road for someone else.

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