COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - All eyes are on the Muscogee County School Board election, but one spot, in particular, has candidates working up to election day in hopes of bringing home a victory.
Incumbent Frank Myers and candidate Dr. Philip Schley are vying for the District 8 spot.
Muscogee County School Board District 8 incumbent Frank Myers says shortly after deciding not to run for the school board, he soon realized there was still work to be done.
"We can do better. Our school system is fixable, but right now, a majority of our third graders can't read on grade level which means 90 percent of those kids are going to be in prison or on public assistance. We know that right now and we aren't doing anything about it," says Myers.
Schley, Myers' opponent, formerly served the school board for 21 years in five terms. He says he started getting phone calls of encouragement last summer from people telling him to throw his hat in the ring.
"Seems like we've got a lot of scrapping and no compromise on the Muscogee County Board of Education right now. We need to stop the school to jail pathway. We need to keep these kids developing emotionally and economically," says Schley.
Myers says there's still much untapped energy on the board he would like to continue to work with.
"We don't need to go to the failed policies of the past, we need to start looking at these reform policies. John Thomas and I have championed and I think have picked up a lot of steam," Myers says.
For Schley, he says he believes in the current administration.
"I want to continue the progress Dr. Lewis has been making. You know we have the ultimate project or ultimate product of a board of education which is graduates from high school."
Myers is known for not being afraid to speak up when he believes something is right or wrong among the board.
"Even my worst enemies will say he has done everything he said he was going to do, but if people don't want me back in there and they want an 85-year-old-man, I understand. My life goes on, but I would really love to serve," says Myers.
"I think he certainly is younger. There's no question about it , but the question is what is his experience what can he call on that can help him get through the times we are dealing with now," Schley says.
Both incumbent and challenger are eager for improvements with the school district.
"If I'm successful and I'm elected, I will work hard. If not, I will wish the system the best and move on with my life," says Myers.
"I hope that I get elected and if I get elected, I have a way of being able to work with people," Schley says.