Parents criticize La Crosse Schools Superintendent for not answering questions at informational meeting

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – La Crosse Schools Superintendent Aaron Engels is facing criticism from parents who say he refuses to answer their questions about the district’s upcoming referendum.

This November, voters will decide whether to approve a nearly $195 million referendum to combine Central and Logan High Schools.

Staff have been holding public informational sessions for months.

News 8 Now received a video from a parent at Thursday night’s public informational session.

Parents tell News 8 Now Engel answered questions for less than 15 minutes.

When he did, the crowd started shouting, asking why Engel is “opposed to answering our questions.”

Engel responded, saying at that time, that they have “transitioned to small groups.” Parents disagreed, saying “no, we haven’t.”

The district’s communications coordinator says the format of the last five information sessions has been the same.

The coordinator sent a statement:

The format of the information sessions has been the same for the last five engagements – a welcome and format reminder, followed by opening remarks, the referendum presentation, group question and answer, and then small group question and answer for topic-specific inquiries with the School Board, Superintendent, Business Services, Curriculum and Instruction, Buildings and Grounds, and Bray Architects.
A few attendees did not want to move into small groups and began to shout over the beginning of that portion of the session. Once the brief interruption concluded, our team resumed answering questions in small groups until all remaining questions were answered and all attendees departed. Tonight’s information session ended at approximately 8:10 p.m.