Brentwood School Board candidates answer community questions

  • Five of six candidates for the three open seats on the Brentwood Board of Education took part in a League of Women Voters forum Thursday night at the school district conference center. They answered 16 questions from the audience, read by a LWV moderator, in about one hour and 45 minutes.

About 25 attended the forum, including the mayor and a couple aldermen. The election is April 4. (Originally published March 10.)

The candidates sat on the stage in ballot order:

  • Keith Rabenberg (incumbent)
  • Dannielle Joy Davis
  • Daniel Brouille (incumbent, served one year)
  • Lindsay M. Spencer
  • Cindy Watson — (not at the forum, a seat there for her)
  • Lois Truman

There was often agreement on questions, with variations.

Rabenberg said the board’s prime responsibilities are setting priorities, approving the budget and hiring a superintendent; Davis added meeting the needs of all children regardless of background; Brouille, challenging the school district to improve; Spencer, communication with all families; Truman, also communication with families, adding the whole community.

The biggest challenge for the school district: Davis, better after-school enrichment for elementary schools; Brouille, how to get the district to the next level without breaking the great things already there; Spencer, updating facilities; Truman, update facilities and after-school enrichment; Rabenberg, maintaining the “tiny gem” of a school district with the tax base – there’s lost of moving parts.

They were asked about what should be done, if and when vouchers are imposed on the school district. Brentwood’s strong tax base and a concern for accountability of the funds if it should happen were mentioned. Several said it’s not the right way to go, and data has pointed this out.

They were asked about how to take care of transgender students, if law regarding bathrooms is imposed. Rabenberg said the federal government has no business in the school’s bathrooms. He and others said there are transgender students at Brentwood and they’re being taken care of; Davis, all students should be welcome and safe; Brouille said he had no specific opinion, and if it gets to the board they will address it; Spencer, all students should be safe and comfortable, and the issues should be known before any action is taken; Truman, there are transgender students at Brentwood, and have been accommodated.

They agreed that sex education should be in the school. Rabenberg said it’s been in the curriculum since he’s been on the board. Davis said so much of the media is “hyper-sexed,” and she’s not happy with it.

The candidates’ closing statements, in reverse ballot order: (Watch the full forum on Lois Truman for Brentwood School Board Facebook)

The candidates, in ballot order (Cindy Watson didn’t attend):

Keith Rabenberg

Dannielle Joy Davis

Daniel Brouille

Lindsay M. Spencer

Lois Truman

6 thoughts on “Brentwood School Board candidates answer community questions

  1. Have any of the candidates discussed making our middle and high school more handicap accessible? As a parent who is frequently in a wheelchair or using a walker, I know how much of a challenge it is to go to school events. At the middle school, there is only one reserved parking spot and it’s up the driveway by the side door. That means you can’t park there during drop off or pick up. But a huge problem is that district vehicles are literally always parked there, so it cannot be used. I brought this up for years to the principal but nothing ever came of it. There needs to be at least one spot on White. There is one spot in front of the high school next to the principal’s spot, but it’s not enforced. I’ve seen employees park there. Adding a second spot would help. Also, instead of parent/teacher conferences being in the classrooms that you can only get to by stairs, there should be a space for them on the first floor. I know that meeting newer laws will be accomplished with the facilities upgrade in 2020, but there are many ways that our current facilities could be better equipped without costing much now. I’m interested to know if anyone running considers that a subject that should be addressed.

  2. Evolution is not a fact though it has been taught as such for over 50 years. The tenants that evolution has been based upon have never been proven and evolution is just a theory not scientific fact. Students should be exposed to all ideas and allowed to make up their own minds. To do anything else is indoctrination and wrong at every level.

    • Creationism is not a fact though it has been taught as such for over 50 years. The tenants that creationism has been based upon have never been proven and creationism is just a theory not scientific fact. Students should be exposed to provable ideas and allowed to make up their own minds. To do anything else is indoctrination and wrong at every level.

  3. I’m a huge supporter of Lindsay Spencer after watching and reading about the meeting. I really hope I get the chance to meet her and discuss some of the issues I have as the parent of a child at Brentwood High. Does anyone know how to reach the individual candidates?

  4. Special thanks to our Brentwood resident with children in the Brentwood schools, Kelly Yacoub, for volunteering to do the live stream for all who could not attend the forum. Hopefully , this helps us all to be more informed voters.