This is one of 10 school board races in Marion County. Check back with Chalkbeat Indiana throughout the week for more information on the other candidates.
Franklin Township has been the most successful Marion County school district on standardized tests for several years, showing a passing rate of 82.8 percent on last year’s ISTEP. Yet the school also has the fewest poor students in the count, at just 37.9 percent.
Key school district data
- Enrollment: 8,645 students
- Ethnicity: 78.6 percent white, 7 percent Hispanic, 5.7 percent black
- Eligible for free and reduced-price lunch: 38 percent
- ISTEP math and English passing rate 2014: 82.8 percent
- 2012-13 graduation rate (most recent available): 95 percent
- Larry J. Walker, 68, real estate broker, custom home builder and land developer at Timberwood Inc., running for the Southeast District seat.
The following candidates could not be reached or did not respond to the survey questions.
- Scott Sullivan, running as an at-large candidate.
- Dawn A. Downer, running for re-election as an at-large candidate.
Why did you choose to run for the school board?
Walker: I grew up in Franklin Township, and still reside in the township. I felt the need to give back to the community that I live and grew up in. With my background of being a self-employed private sector businessman, I feel I have the ability to give input from a different point of view on so many issues addressing the township now and in the near future.
What issues will you focus on?
Walker: Discipline in schools with support of both administrators, teachers and parents working together. Looking at school budget on spending and look for ways to cut without compromising any opportunity for any student and school safety.
What is the most important issue facing your district?
Walker: With exceptions, parents being involved, supporting the administrators and teachers in approaching education. Get federal government out of our local community schools. Get more students and parents involved in the system and the extracurricular activities that go on in the schools.
Anything else about yourself you’d like to share.
Walker: Again, get the federal government out of our daily lives on education and at the same time look for ways to get more tax revenue in our community .
Answers have been edited for length.