Franklin schools has Johnson County’s lowest graduation rate, and to turn that around candidates running for school board want to find ways to ensure more students finish high school.
The seven school board candidates running for three open seats want to be sure students can connect with teachers or other employees who can explain why it’s important for them to graduate on time. They also want to evaluate the high school’s classes to be sure Franklin has enough courses to interest students who don’t plan to attend a four-year college.
Incumbent William Maschmeyer and Timothy Lavery are running for one open Franklin Township seat. Cory Cooper, Kristine Ott,
D. Christopher Bass, Joseph Skeel and Bryan Wertz are running for two open Franklin city seats. All voters in the Franklin school district can vote in the school board races.
The three winners will vote during the school board’s monthly meetings on any changes to Franklin’s courses or educational policies, approve the yearly budget and evaluate the superintendent.
The candidates also want to find ways to continue building on the school district’s Finish Strong program, which gives current and former students the chance to earn their diploma through online courses. If they can do that then the graduation rate could rise above 85 percent, they said.
“We keep kids in school and bring kids back by giving them alternate education programs, such as Finish Strong, such as (Central Nine Career Center). And as kids change, we have to change too. And we have to be the provider of choice in the area,” Maschmeyer said.
Maschmeyer, Cooper and Ott said Finish Strong’s online degree program is a great alternative for students who aren’t succeeding in traditional classrooms. Bass said Franklin can reach even more students by creating additional online courses.