Race for Rochester City School Board: Candidate Willa Powell

June 18, 2019 08:17 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Next Tuesday is Primary Day in New York. News10NBC is highlighting the race for Rochester City School Board because it's important. The city school district is still struggling with graduation rates and facing a possible state takeover.

Each day this week, we'll highlight two school board candidates and their platform so you can make an informed decision on June 25.


Willa Powell is a district parent with a background in finance. She's run 5 successful school board campaigns since 1997. 

"I think anyone that has watched me over the last 20 years knows I'm paying attention, I'm responsive to emails, and do my best to give thoughtful answers or research and get back to them," Powell said.

Powell sees an unfair trend in state and federal school funding and wants to continue to fight for equity. 

"We should be getting $100 million more every year than what we have been," Powell said. "Every year, you see why we're in the situation we're in."

Powell has seen improvement in student performance through graduation rates. 

"From 39% to 50% is a 50% increase in 5 years...on average 10% per year and that's a pretty steep trajectory for quite some time if we're given the resources we need," Powell said.

She says improvement will not happen if the state steps in.

"It would be interrupting a positive trend line and you will never know whether the work of the new superintendent, the board of education or the collective work of our teachers is paying off," Powell said.


Kaci Jones

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