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Editor’s note: Below are incumbent Carly Reiter’s to the Argus

Leader’s Sioux Falls school board candidate Q&A on Friday, May


10, 2019, as submitted.

Are you a registered voter? Yes

What political party are you affiliated with? Republican, however I consider myself more of an
Independent

Have you ever run for an elected position before? If so, what position and when? Yes, two terms as
Sioux Falls School District School Board Member (2013, 2016)

Have you ever held an elected position or served on a governing board before? If so, what position and
for how long? Current Sioux Falls School District Board Member for 6 years. Parent Advocates for
Spanish Immersion (PASI)-President 3 years, Board Member 5 years

What made you decide to run for the Sioux Falls school board this May? I am a current Board Member
and have enjoyed learning more about all of the great programs and services that our district offers. I
enjoy looking at ideas, policies, and programs from new perspectives and making recommendations
for how we can continue to improve and best serve our students. I have two daughters in the public
schools and want to ensure that all our students receive the best education that we can provide. I
also have many friends and former classmates that are now employed in a variety of positions and I
want to make sure that their work is meaningful and the staff have the resources and support they
need to do their best work in our schools.

What makes you the best qualified person to represent Sioux Falls taxpayers in this capacity? My six
years of experience as a board member have proven that I am here to listen and learn from others
and then make decisions that are fiscally responsible. I am engaged in the happenings in our buildings
and have made it a priority to speak with teachers, parents and community members about questions
and concerns that they have. I have students currently attending Lincoln High School and Edison
Middle School so am involved in those school environments, curriculum, activities, etc so can see the
impact that our decisions have on those that we serve. I keep the big picture in mind and want to
make sure that the decisions we make are moving us in the direction of best educating all of our
25,000 students and supporting all of our staff as well.

What do you want to accomplish if you’re elected?

Two of the topics that I am passionate about are Workforce development and Social Emotional
Learning. Our job is to prepare students for a changing world-for some that is college, for others is
work or a technical education. Our community has a large need for workers in the trades and we are
fortunate to have a great school like Southeast Technical Institute in our community to support
that. Not every student is college bound and we don’t need every worker to be college educated. By
helping students to find their strengths and introducing them early on to a variety of careers we can
help them be best prepared for their post high school plans.
Social Emotional Learning is something that we are working on integrating into all of our
classrooms. Students are coming to school with a variety of personal traumas and the way that they
are learning is changing. Its important that we recognize that and adapt our instruction methods and
objectives to meet the needs of our students. We need to teach our students about empathy and
understanding, setting goals for themselves, managing their emotions and making positive
decisions. Incorporating these skills will help them to develop life skills that will positively impact the
rest of their lives and the contribution that they can make to our community.

What would you say are the most important issues facing the largest school district in the state today?
Funding is always an issue and until education becomes a true priority in our state it will continue to
be. Each year we have to take a close look at the budget and decide what items we can reduce or
eliminate to stay on budget. Another challenge is the quickly changing diversity in our community-
both in race and ethnicity as well as socioeconomic status. We have students entering schools with
little to no prior school experience, from food insecure homes, with parents working multiple jobs and
we want them to come to school and be ready to learn. As a community we need to find ways to
support our students and their families so that they can focus on learning and growing and being a
productive member of our community.

How do you plan on advocating for the district’s most vulnerable if you’re elected? As we look at
programs, initiatives and community partnerships we always look for ways to level the playing field
and provide opportunities to our students who need them most. We look at needs of students and
entire buildings and allocate resources to those places that it will make the biggest difference for.
Equity is important which is why we have events like the Night of Hope and Caring to help provide
money to schools that don’t have the same supports as others do in Sioux Falls.

How do you plan to help maintain the fiscal responsibility of the school district in your role as a school
board member? The best way to be fiscally responsible is to ask question and continue to learn. Just
because we have always done something doesn’t mean that we should continue to do it. By
supporting the evaluation of programs, reviewing budgets, and looking at the return on investment of
current initiatives we can continue to work smarter and efficiently.

What experience do you have handling bond issues? I was on the board when the $190 million bond
was passed in September 2018 and worked with rest of the board to educate the community and ask
for support for it.

If elected, how do you plan to help the district oversee the rest of the $190 million bond projects,
outside of the new middle school and new high school? There is a plan and a timeline in place for all of
the planned projects related to the bond money. This was determined by the Facilities committee
that met prior to the bond vote. Each month the school board receives an update on the status of the
current projects and the timeline for the remaining projects as we move through the list. This
includes when bids are requested, ground is broken and projects are completed.

In the length of a Tweet -- 280 characters or less-- give readers your hot take on the following school
district issues parents are concerned about the most (I’ve attached our most comprehensive articles on
each topic to help, if needed):
- Trimming fine arts class time to make elementary schedules less chaotic
(https://bit.ly/2DCxKOs) The District is committed to maintaining the current number of
minutes in fine arts and PE class time and values the impact these classes have on educating
the whole child. Making a schedule that supports students and teachers is a priority.
-
- Creating haves and have-nots when attendance boundaries are redrawn within the next couple
of years to accommodate schools built under the $190 million bond (https://bit.ly/2LbpfAs )
The new school boundaries will be thoughtfully designed to create schools rich in diversity,
minimize bus times, and accommodate for future growth. The community will have an active
role in establishing these new boundaries.

- Having to make budget cuts for things that are “nice to have,” but not necessary because the
state hasn’t held up to its side of education funding reform (https://bit.ly/2Lbko24 ) Until
funding is reliable, we have to prioritize expenditures on what is necessary and required and
take a close look at what are “extras” making difficult decisions about what to keep. It’s
better to be proactive and offer preventative services, but if the money isn’t there those are
going to be the programs that are cut.

Is there anything you would like to acknowledge about your past that might affect your ability to do the
job? no

Is there anything you feel the public needs to know about you that they may not? no