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I am pleased to announce that I am seeking another term on the Madison Metropolitan School District Board of Education (Seat #5).

I look forward to talking about my record – whether it is the work on reforming the role of police in our schools, changing middle school start times, assuring that our undocumented students have access to all of our partnerships, advocating for our students with special needs, placing the arts and safety in our Strategic Framework – but I believe the most important issues are the erosion of trust and accountability.

I stand second to none in celebrating the great work of our students and staff, but believe continued improvement requires more. Too often concerns about public relations take precedence over forthrightly facing our failures. Too often discussions and even decisions take place behind closed doors. Too often the knowledge, experiences, and insights of many of our staff, our students, our families, and our community are marginalized.

Accountability begins at the ballot box, by electing a Board that is willing and able to insist upon transparency, public processes, and a responsive administration. I have continually demonstrated my commitment to these.

In order for us to provide our students the education they deserve, we need to work to repair the breakdowns of trust we see manifested in the divisions within our schools, within our community, and between too many of our families and our schools. We need to respect each other, assume the best intentions, and work together with honesty and hope.

In the coming years MMSD will be facing more difficult financial circumstances, with hard decisions about priorities and programs. In order to continue improvement in student achievement, racial and other gaps, the physical, mental, and emotional safety and health or our students, and so much more; trust, openness, responsiveness, and a knowledgeable Board will be essential. I bring the necessary skills, experience and knowledge; and pledge to openness and accountability.

I hope I have your support. To help with campaign, beginning by circulating nomination papers, please message or email mertzformadison@gmail.com. You may make a donation by clicking here — DONATE.

TJ Mertz