Election Day!

Tonight’s election is the culmination of about two month’s worth of work covering the Columbia Public School’s Board candidates. It’s been a whirlwind of interviews, candidate forums and quote checks.

Sounds exciting, huh? Maybe not at first, but to those of you who think municipal elections are dull: think again.

The district is facing budget cuts, overcrowding, redistricting and gaps in student achievement. These terms get tossed around a lot on the news, but they really have an effect on the citizens here and their day-to-day lives.

If you still can’t see the drama in it, ponder this:

  • How would you feel if your high school or elementary school had to cut already dwindling funds from extracurriculars and academic programs, possibly eliminating some altogether?
  • How would your parents handle potential tax increases if state revenues don’t come through?
  • How would you react to your own child going to three different schools in four years?

These are some of the troubles Columbia citizens are having to face, and it fell on the school board candidates to address these issues and more as they tried to garner support throughout this election process.

Needless to say, it’s been a huge learning curve for someone new to the community, but I think the election has done a lot to help me acclimate myself to the educational climate in Columbia. Also, it has provided a huge push to engage with public officials and learn to cultivate a relationship between a reporter and source.

I can’t speak for Bridget, my partner on this beat, but I can be reasonably sure that both of us are proud of the work we have done and happy to see this crazy campaign season come to a close.

We’ve worked to put out profiles of each of the six candidates as well as a Q&A that covers many key issues in the district.

Tonight, we will sit with rapt attention to the Boone County Clerk’s website to report on the results as the votes are tallied. Our story detailing how the election turned out should be up later this evening, so be sure to keep up with the Missourian’s coverage to find out who wins.

Happy Voting!