Badri Lankella for Madison School Board Seat #6

Working to contribute to and make a positive impact for future generations.

Candidate for MMSD Board of Education

Badri Lankella is a candidate in the 2023 election for Madison's 6th BOE (Board of Education) seat. The general election in Madison, WI, will be held on Tuesday, April 4th, 2023. Below are resources from the city clerk's office for voters looking to participate in the upcoming election.

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1. Collaboration

Concern: We have a divided board, disconnected relations between administration and staff, and political division is vilifying educators and the whole education system which is creating more disconnect from the public.

My Plan: I have a proven record of community building and bringing people together to accomplish common goals. We can only succeed with collaboration, I will make sure we have more collaboration moving forward. I will bring collaborative, community-minded leadership to every meeting. I will listen and communicate with respect and civility. An effective board needs strong, experienced leaders and managers with critical thinking skills. My STEM and business educational background helps me understand what it takes for students to succeed post-high school.

2. Staying Competitive

Concern: MMSD is in a downward spiral with staff turnovers, staff shortages, funding shortages, and dropping enrollments with migration out of the district.

My Recomendations: Student Achievement Gap - Schools have to have the ability to identify students with capabilities and provide them with the right opportunities. We must provide proper funding for staff and programs to identify these achievement gaps and provide the right direction for kids. We also need to have as many special-education programs as other districts.

My Plan: We need to work on attracting the best educators and providing proper funding to programs that will bring students and families back to our district. We need to be competitive in every aspect when it comes educators, staff, programs, and students. I have a proven record as regional director and administrator of non-profit organizations in retention of the best resources and making these organizations the best in the nation.

3. Capital

Concern: We are not managing capital and budgets properly, budgetary challenges need to be evaluated, decisions are being made that are not satisfactory to anyone, and we continue to hear that more of these decisions could be coming.

My Plan: I will use my administration experience to make sure the right calls are made to provide our schools with the staff/resources that we need, ensure that all program needs are met, and help make sure that MMSD is listed as one of the best school districts in the nation.


Professional Experience

Badri is the father of two MMSD high school students who currently attend Vel Phillips Memorial High School. His kids have attended MMSD public schools all their life, and Badri has been actively involved in PTOs, as well as coaching various school-related clubs such as 4H, First Lego League teams, soccer teams, etc. He is actively involved in all school family activities whenever possible.
Badri completed his education in Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, and has a master's degreee in Business Administration. He has over 25 years of experience in administration in various private and public sectors. He has spent the last 20 years working at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as an Architect, helping the public connect with the state government.

Political/Service Experience

  • Serves on various committees and boards for non-profit organizations and the city of Madison.
  • Over 20 years of experience in organizing and coaching regional contests at the North South Foundation, and is currently serving as the foundation's regional director.
  • Last 3 years serving on the Transportation Policy and Planning Board, Joint Campus Area Committee, and a few subcommittees for the city of Madison.
  • Last 5 years serving as both Treasurer and board member of the Ice Age Falls Neighborhood association in West Madison
  • Until last year, served as an executive board member for Dane Dems.
  • Ran for the District 7 seat of the Madison City Council in 2019.

Why Is Badri Running?

I strongly believe in community service and giving back to the community. Through serving on Madison's school board, I saw an opportunity to contribute and make a positive impact on future generations. Over the years, being engaged with my children, and communicating with teachers and the administration, I have learned about the many wonderful qualities of our school system, and have also identified areas for improvement.

Education is a top priority in our family and we have always been involved in educational volunteer work where ever possible. My city council platform had a major focus on MMSD-related issues, from transportation to equitable and competitive educational institutions for Madison.

I worked on the issue of transportation by joining the Transportation Board for the city and working on various projects for public safety along with child safety, like Vision Zero, Green Streets, and Bus Rapid Transit. These are only a few examples.

I also want to make sure educators and the education system are not vilified by the political system. This is a time when we need to provide more resources to our educational system. There is staff burnout and turnover, and if this issue is not handled now, it is going cause more dropouts from schools which in turn creates more funding dropouts. It is going continue to deteriorate until we are listed as one of the most failed institutitions in the nation. I want to put in as much effort as I can to reverse this trend and put MMSD amongst the top ten school districts in the nation. MMSD should be a district that everyone wants their kids to attend school in. I want people to migrate to the city of Madison because we have the best schools in the nation.

As school board members, we represent the whole of the City of Madison and the entire school system. However, most of our current board members reside in East Madison. Since my family and I live in West Madison and work with the community on various committees, I will bring more geographical diversity to the board, and a voice from West-side Communities.