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O’Fallon District 90 school board candidate: Mary Baskett

Name: Mary Baskett

City of residence: O’Fallon

Age: 68

Family status: Married, mother of two and grandmother of six

Education: bachelor in elementary education (K-8); master of science in special education (K-12); certification in computer science and computer applications

Occupation: Retired teacher

Political party: Independent

Office sought: O’Fallon District 90 School Board

Campaign Facebook: Re-Elect Mary Baskett O’Fallon District 90 School Board

Campaign email:

Previously held offices: O’Fallon District 90 School Board 2007 to 2015

What qualifies you for this position?

“I have been on the board for eight years. Before that I attended board meetings for 10 years as a teacher in District 90. I have taught elementary grades, special education and computer class. I have a broad understanding of issues associated with these areas. I am trained in school finance, serve on the Finance Committee, and have a strong interest in budgeting issues. Other committees I have served on are Policy, Building, Belleville Area Special Services Cooperative Governing Board, and BEST (Building Educational Success Together) Committee. I am retired so I have a flexible schedule and time to devote to board business.”

What is the top issue in your race, and how would you address it?

“District 90 has faced and is still facing significant challenges in funding our schools. The board has had to make difficult choices in staffing and programming. We have seen the ‘perfect storm’ of under-funding in the last six years due to state cut-backs and economic problems. The district has been forced to cut our budget to levels that are hurting our students. The district has cut administration, teachers, support staff, programs and all other cost areas to bare minimums. We must address these serious budget issues for the next four years by exploring every option available to cut expenses and increase revenue. Working with the other board members and the superintendent, I will strive to make well-thought out and researched policy decisions.”