"For every dollar invested into the Kingdom, God puts at least one hundred dollars into our heavenly account," says Howard, the father of eight children in the district. "Once you have approximately calculated your tithes and offerings, you are ready to ask the Holy Spirit how He wants you to use that money." Once that money pours in, he emails, "The Body of Christ (local church) would pay off the debt of the Ann Arbor Public Schools with no strings attached."
Challenger Ahmar Iqbal, forty-two, says the cure is to "prioritize the budget by cutting wasteful spending and calling for competitive bidding." With a background in finance and public policy, including degrees from U-M and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and his years as an educator at American University in Pakistan, Iqbal believes the district needs to hire more teachers. "The class size is out of hand. There are classes of thirty-seven students."
The father of two children in the district who currently works as an energy consultant, Iqbal also recommends that the district adopt "a longer school year with less holidays and longer school days. And every child should be multilingual from day one."
To achieve these goals, Iqbal says, "We should be in Lansing [lobbying for more money]. We're the fifth-largest school district in the state, and we all need more teachers."