Two incumbent School Board members are up for re-election next month, including Barbara McQuinn in District 1.
She was one of the unanimous seven votes to keep Palm Beach County's kids on distance-learning to start the school year.
McQuinn tells us that she wants specific health metrics from the superintendent...something the board hasn't received.
"I need a number. When we reach these numbers, how quickly can we get those doors opened? In my mind, it should be immediately."
Until then, she says she offered an idea to the board to get some kids back on campus.
"I would love to bring in small groups of students, let me just start with the ones that we know we did not engage through distance-learning in the spring. Let some teachers say 'I'm very comfortable working with a group of ten students.' And I feel that, in terms of our buildings, we can do that right now."
McQuinn says the proposal received quote "zero support" from the rest of the board.
She pushed for a later start to the school year, in the hopes that it would mean students would be forced to learn from home for a lesser amount of time. In other words, the later the year begins, the closer we could be to having campuses back open.
McQuinn is being challenged by Bonnie Pettinga, a real estate investor and entrepreneur who has served on Martin County's Curriculum Committee for its schools. She also remains on the board of a vocational program for high school students back in her hometown of Detroit, Michigan.
Pettinga, who appears on the ballot as "Bonnie Jo Pettinga," disagrees with making moms and dads keep their kids at home.
"The parents are saying 'No. We want a choice.' I agree with them. Our schools should be open sooner rather than later. And the parents should have a choice to choose between virtual education and brick and mortar. She's not giving them that option."
She says school kids are paying the price for the distance-learning that was thrust upon them when the coronavirus pandemic began.
"The children are failing. The children are declining. The children are becoming depressed. We have our concerns also about the abused and neglected children."
Pettinga also talks about "long-time educators" who seem to be serving the National Education Association, which she says is "solely responsible for promoting the indoctrination rather than educating our children, which has resulted in the mayhem that we're visibly witnessing on the news.
Hear more from both candidates in the above audio players ahead of the August 18 primary.
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