CEDARBURG, Wis. — Cedarburg's School Board race has four seats to fill this spring and it has been a heated election season.
"It has been toxic. Last year it was. There's just a lot of strife," Kristin Burkart said.
"Negative things being said on both sides of the table," said parent Sally Wagner.
School board races do not typically draw a ton of attention like presidential elections, but they are so important. The boards help set the vision for school districts by overseeing things like budgets, resources, and policy.
TMJ4 News talked with parents about issues important to them.
Burkart has two kids in the district and serves on the common council.
"Bridging the gap between the community and the school board is one, taking the politics out of it, and just really listening to our teachers," Burkart said.
Heidi Laurila has one kid in 4K and two others that will soon follow.
"Re-engage with the community at school board meetings and allow public input," Laurila said. "We're also looking for someone who will dig in deep on curriculum and instruction and involve key players in the discussion to bring our curriculum up-to-date."
Sally Wagner has two children in Cedarburg schools.
"We're also looking for a candidate that is willing to take on the issues of diversity and inclusion and make sure that our students are getting the education that they need in that area," Wagner said.
For these parents, the school board race is a crucial one that will set the tone moving forward.
"I feel it is so important to just bring the community back together," Burkart said.
"To be able to have a balance on the board, so everybody's opinions are reflected I think it's important," said Wagner.
"When you're talking about the values and education that your children receive, there's not much that's more important," Laurila said.
The primary is next Tuesday. The top eight candidates will move on to the spring election in April.