JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City NAACP hosted a virtual forum for candidates running for the city school board on their Facebook live on Tuesday.

Two members of the Jefferson City NAACP moderated the event including President Nimrod Chapel Jr. and Julie Allen. 

The forum began with superintendent Bryan McGraw promoting the "Kids First" bond initiative, which will be on the April 4 ballots along with the school board candidates. 

"We want to expand opportunities for our kids," McGraw said. 

The forum then shifted to the five candidates introducing themselves and answering questions ranging from school bus issues, redistricting for overcrowding and opinions on statewide school laws.

The candidates include the following: Scott Hovis, Brad Bates, Michael Harvey, Tapiwa "Felix" Madondo and Suzanne Luther. 

All five candidates were in favor of the idea that it's the role of the school board to ensure equity, action and policies. 

All five candidates were against school vouchers, charter schools and using public school money towards private schools.

Both Suzanne Luther and Tapiwa "Felix" Madondo haven't held school board positions before, but said if elected they wanted to be apart of the "Kids First" initiative.

"I think every part of that moving forward is something I want to be instrumental in," Luther said.

Though Madondo agreed with Luther on the "Kids First" initiative, he wants his focus to be on the opportunity the Nichols Career Center expansion can give to minorities. 

"I hope that if the bond issues passes that it will be an opportunity for minority kids that might not be the college type to maybe go to Nichols Career Center,"  Madondo said.

The election will be held on April 4, and voters will select three out of the five candidates to serve on the board for a three-year term. 

For those who weren't able to attend the forum or want more information, the recording of the forum is located on the Jefferson City NAACP Facebook page. 


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