Big changes are in store for the OPS School Board. Channel Six spoke with some board members to get their reaction.
Inside the classroom students may not notice any change. On the outside school board members certainly will. “I think this is a historic moment for the Omaha community,” said board member Justin Wayne.
Wayne supports the new law that shrinks the OPS School Board from 12 to 9 members. The law was passed by the state legislature Monday. “I think it will help improve communication, it will help improve some of the cost, and just overall help our timeliness of decisions,” said Wayne.
The idea was put into motion years ago after several controversies led to some questioning the board’s effectiveness. Now a special election will be held this spring. That means board members who just ran in November will need to campaign and be voted in again.
OPS Parent Kim Hodges questions the timing. “Here we have a new superintendent coming in, we have a 30 percent turnover in the board right now, so we have a lot of fresh ideas coming in and they haven't even had a chance to do any work,” said Hodges.
Hodges helped current board member Jennifer Tompkins Kirshenbaum with her campaign. Hodges knows just how time consuming a race can be. “She is a little frustrated and disappointed. To go through the November elections and have earned her spot that now she won’t be able to do her goals until she’s reelected.”
Tompkins Kirshenbaum says it’s a challenge she’s up to. Wayne says he too will be running again.