SUWANEE -- In the race for the District 3 seat, an incumbent touts the past successes of the local board, while her challenger is critical of decisions she said were detrimental to the district.
Republican incumbent Mary Kay Murphy, 75, said she's helped "work to build the best urban public school system in the nation. I characterize myself as a builder of communities and schools as successful structures so that students can achieve and learn."
Democratic challenger Jen Falk, 51, feels the current budget process put in place by the board of education could use improvement.
"I will work tirelessly to open up the budget process to the community, ask questions to clarify priorities, listen and engage in rigorous discussion with my fellow board members," Falk said. "To do otherwise does a disservice to our children and our teachers."
Murphy, who has a career in public and private higher education said she knows the issues. "I know the requirements and needs of students in the K-12 program," she said.
Murphy said that funding remains the most important issue in public education.
"Over the past several years, the state has reduced our budget by $630 million," Murphy said. "We want to continue to work closely with state legislators to have them understand how important our funding from the state is."
Falk said she hopes to ensure that the money which the district receives from tax dollars is spent wisely.
"While I support the economic sustainability and growth of Gwinnett County, I am not connected with real estate developers or current county politicians," Falk said. "I want to ensure we spend tax dollars in the classroom, keeping class size down and make resources available."
The District 3 post represents all or part of the Collins Hill, Duluth, Lanier, Norcross, North Gwinnett, and Peachtree Ridge clusters, as well as Buice School, Monarch School, and New Life Academy of Excellence in Duluth.