The Burnsville Education Association has decided to support two challengers and two incumbents in this year's school board election.
Ten people are running for the four seats, including four incumbents.
The association, which interviewed nine of the 10 candidates, decided to support two incumbents: Sandra Sweep and Robert VandenBoom.
The group, which represents almost 800 educators in the district, also decided to back challengers Steve Dove and Seema Pothini.
Sweep and the two challengers are competing for four-year terms, as are DeeDee Currier, Ron Hill, Mark Korman and Mark Traikoff. Currier and Hill, the board chairman, are incumbents.
Joshua Mathews and Tom McCasey are competing with incumbent VandenBoom for two-year terms.
"We are very excited to support these four individuals," Bob Nystrom, BEA President, said in a statement.
Nystrom said the four were selected, in part, because the group thinks they have the best chance to win, given the anti-incumbent sentiment that has hit the district this year following controversies involving Superintendent Randall Clegg and Tania Chance, the former human resources director Clegg hired and who was paid more than $250,000 by the district to leave.
"Over the last few years we have seen controversy resulting from, among other things, difficulty in communication," Nystrom said. "We are confident these four individuals will put the district on the right track. The school district has weathered some difficult times. These four ... are best suited to lead our district for the next several years."
The candidates were interviewed by the BEA at the end of September. The BEA's executive board approved the endorsements on Oct. 3.
Nystrom said McCasey, who has said he entered the race to unseat the incumbents because of the Chance situation, chose not to seek an endorsement from the group.
The election will be Nov. 6. A candidates' forum will be Oct. 29 at Sky Oaks Elementary at 7 p.m.
The district reported that as of Oct. 1 there were 27,168 students enrolled in the district, 236 fewer than last year on the same date.
The district also reported that more than 28 percent of the student population is minority.
The enrollment figures were presented to the school board on Oct. 8.
The district's largest class this year is grade 12, with 2,191 students, and the smallest is grade 5, with 1,820 students.
Enrollment increased at the elementary level and decreased for middle school and high school. The breakdown by level shows that on Oct. 1 the district had:
• 11,541 students in grades K-5, an increase of 64 students from last year.
• 5,916 students in grades 6-8, a decrease of 65.
• 8,471 students in grades 9-12, a decrease of 231.
The district also had 771 students in center-based special education programs, a decrease of 46; and 469 students in early childhood special education, an increase of 42 students.
The district is 71.9 percent white students, 11.1 percent black students, 9 percent Asian students, 7.2 percent Hispanic students and 0.9 percent American Indian.