I’m Ben Perlman. I’m a husband, father, and a lifelong resident of Omaha. I went to Dundee, Lewis and Clark, and Central. I earned a journalism degree and law degree at Creighton University. This is my eighth year as a prosecutor at the Sarpy County Attorney’s Office. I have two children currently in OPS, one at Dundee Elementary and another at Central High School.
I chose to run for a seat on the school board because I want to give back to the schools that gave me so many opportunities. I wouldn’t be where I am without the teachers I’ve had in my life. I’ve not only had great teachers in Omaha Public Schools, but my parents and my wife are teachers as well. My wife Echo is a former Omaha Public Schools nurse and is still active in OPS school initiatives as a nursing instructor.
We have been an active, engaged OPS family for years. This campaign is focused on bringing the voices of students, parents and teachers to the board. It’s about setting the vision for OPS as it faces some of the biggest challenges it’s seen in years, including large bond issues for construction and renovation, threats to public education funding at the state level, and how to address high suspension and expulsion rates. This campaign is about supporting the teachers in the classroom, who are the experts in education.
The campaign is also about better transparency and communication. As we’ve seen with this year’s busing problems, the district still has a long way to go to improve the way it keeps OPS families informed of what’s going on.
I am the one candidate in this race who attended Omaha Public Schools. It’s important to have board members who know the schools and the neighborhoods they serve. It’s important to have board candidates with the right background, education, and experience to guide the district through this important time. If elected, the measure of my success will be whether every decision I have made has improved education for students in Omaha Public Schools.