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Teacher salaries, retention top forum

Five of the six Richmond Board of Education candidates – Tom Williamson, April Maulsby, Rosita Dial, John Scowley and Chris Minnick – took questions for an hour and a half Wednesday at forum sponsored by Richmond NEA chapter and The Richmond News. (Photo by David Knopf/Richmond News)

Five of the six Richmond Board of Education candidates – Tom Williamson, April Maulsby, Rosita Dial, John Scowley and Chris Minnick – took questions for an hour and a half Wednesday at forum sponsored by Richmond NEA chapter and The Richmond News. (Photo by David Knopf/Richmond News)

By David Knopf/Richmond News

Most seats in Ray County Library’s community room were filled Wednesday as five Richmond School Board candidates responded to questions posed by organizers and audience members.

Candidates Tom Williamson, April Maulsby, Rosita Dial, John Scowley and Chris Minnick answered questions on a range of topics – everything from teacher salaries and retention to managing district finances to whether teachers should be able to discuss issues with board members or follow a chain of command.

The organizers, Richmond chapter of the National Education Association and the Richmond News, prepared questions for seven candidates to respond to in their opening remarks.

But it was learned Wednesday morning that school board hopeful Billy Graves was withdrawing. Graves informed the Richmond News he had been called to active military service.

Tof McWilliams, the seventh candidate, didn’t participate in the forum. It was thought McWilliams was involved in student conferences.

The subject discussed most often Wednesday was teacher salaries. The district froze salaries, suspended step increases and did away with Career Ladder incentives as it dealt with a financial crisis since August 2010.

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