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Sioux Falls school board candidates debate social studies standards, teacher pay | #hacking | #aihp

The two candidates who remain interested in serving on the Sioux Falls School District’s Board of Education debated issues ranging from budgets and school safety to library materials and South Dakota’s recently passed controversial social studies standards Thursday night.

Their debate was part of a forum hosted by the Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce and the Sioux Falls League of Women Voters at the Instructional Planning Center, where one of the two candidates will meet several times each month as part of their service on the board if they win the May 16 election.

Questions posed by moderator Melanie Bliss and answered by Dawn Marie Johnson and Brian Mattson ranged from specific to existential. Here are some of the highlights:

On their backgrounds and experience in education: Johnson talked about being a mother to her 9-year-old child Rain, her work in the Joe Foss program at Axtell Park in the district and as a social worker, running an afterschool program and working with the South Dakota Afterschool Network. Mattson spoke about his service in the U.S. Marine Corps and his heart for the job and making sure children are educated properly, as well as his experience raising two grown children and having a vested interest in his grandson’s education.

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