The spring school board race in La Crosse has begun with a Central High student announcing as a candidate.
Adam Manka is focusing his campaign on stopping proposed school closures in La Crosse, giving parents a stronger voice in education matters, and reducing drug use at school buildings.
Manka says he likes La Crosse’s public schools but believes the system needs improvement.
“The reason why our schools are not what they should be, it seems to be, is that the highest powers of our school district, some of the top people of the school board, have been leading us astray for years,” Manka told backers and reporters Thursday outside the former Lincoln Middle School, which closed last summer.
Manka said he spoke to the school board this year about drug concerns and only one board member responded to research that he has done. He has been a student observer of the board, and wants to include more diverse points of view in school district business.
“I think I can help,” said Manka. “I will give parents a greater voice in how our schools are run, and give more consideration to students, and to the La Crosse taxpayers in the board’s decision making.”
Manka and another student, Jacob Walters, conducted a study of drug use in the city’s schools, in which they found that 40 to 60 percent of high school students actively use drugs, and the drugs are easy to get.
Manka said the smell of marijuana smoke is common at Central.
Nominating papers for the local spring elections can be circulated, beginning Friday, with the deadline for filing in early January.
Three of the nine La Crosse school board seats are up for election in April. Terms on the board last three years.