Cobb school board member Alison Bartlett, Rep. David Wilkerson (D-Austell), County Commissioner-Elect Lisa Cupid and state House candidate Phil Daniell participated in the forum, which was attended by about 10 people.
Bartlett, a Democrat who was first elected to the school board in 2008, said her priority is fighting a Georgia constitutional amendment that would allow the state to create charter schools over the objection of local districts.
A parent in the audience asked Bartlett how the budget could be restructured to help continuously growing class sizes.
“I fight daily to keep class sizes reduced,” Bartlett said. “If I were not on the board, they would be higher.”
She said class sizes have increased because of falling state funding.
In response to a question about helping at-risk students, Bartlett pointed parents to Cobb Mentoring Matters, which was introduced last school year.
Bartlett is running against first-time candidate Republican Brad Wheeler in the Nov. 6 general election to keep her seat.
Wilkerson, who ran unopposed this year for the newly redrawn District 38, said he believes communication in the education community is “really important.”
Answering the question about help for at-risk students, Wilkerson said the Osborne area would benefit most if the Osborne Community Coalition were funded.
Cupid, who beat out Cobb County Commissioner Woody Thompson in a runoff in August, said she is working to learn more about her constituents in southwest Cobb because she knows the district is not “one-size-fits-all.”
In talking about the importance of voting, Cupid said if voters in southwest Cobb don’t “squeal” about their concerns within the community and go vote for their representatives, it makes it harder to ask for things from the county.
“I’ve learned that the funding goes to the squeaky wheel,” she said. “We know the issues are here, but we are not complaining enough.”
She recommended anyone with a problem to reach out to the county offices or elected officials to ask why problems aren’t being fixed, using the example of unfinished sidewalks in some areas.
Cupid should be sworn into office in January 2013.
Daniell, a long-time Cobb resident running on the Republican ticket against Democrat and first-time candidate Michael Smith to replace Terry Johnson, said he’s “encouraged by small business” and wants to bring more of it to Cobb.
Audience member and former Cobb Commission candidate Michael Rhett asked Daniell how he would bring jobs to the area.
“I know the kinds of problems that small businesses face, and I think I would be able to work with them and be able to work on the state level to help provide opportunities for the growth of small business and help in this area in the economic situation,” Daniell said.