Rakesh Kak

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Rakesh Kak
Rakesh Kak.jpg
West Windsor-Plainsboro Board of Education, West Windsor
Former candidate
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
Term limitsN/A
Education
Bachelor'sIndian Institute of Technology
Master'sColumbia University
Personal
ProfessionInvestment banker
Rakesh Kak was a candidate for one of two West Windsor seats on the West Windsor-Plainsboro Board of Education in New Jersey. He lost his election bid on November 5, 2013 against incumbent Louisa Ho and challengers Scott Powell and Yingchao Zhang. Kak was unsuccessful in his 2010 race for a board seat and placed second in board voting to replace Robert Johnson in May 2013.[1]

Biography

Kak was born in Delhi, India and studied Electrical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology. He later moved to the United States to complete an M.B.A. in Finance at Columbia University. Kak is currently the managing partner of an investment bank called View Partners. He and his wife, Suneeta, have two children attending district schools.[1]

Elections

2013

See also: West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District elections (2013)

Opposition

Incumbent Alapakkam Manikandan lost re-election for the Plainsboro seat to challenger Yu Taylor Zhong. The race for two seats from West Windsor included incumbent Louisa Ho and challengers Kak, Scott Powell and Yingchao Zhang. Powell and Ho won those seats. Incumbent Hemant Marathe ran for Mayor of West Windsor after serving for nine years on the board.[2]

Results

West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School School Board, West Windsor District, 3-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngScott Powell 30.2% 2,977
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngLouisa Ho Incumbent 29% 2,866
     Nonpartisan Rakesh Kak 24.8% 2,448
     Nonpartisan Yingchao Zhang 15.8% 1,560
     Nonpartisan Personal choice 0.2% 19
Total Votes 9,870
Source: Mercer County Clerk, "Election Results," November 13, 2013

Funding

Kak reported $150.00 in contributions and $131.53 in expenditures to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, which left his campaign with $18.47 on hand.[3]

Campaign themes

2013

In an interview with the League of Women Voters of the Princeton Area, Kak explained his views on major issues facing the district:[4]

District growth

"Even though future enrollments are not currently expected to grow as rapidly as the previous 10 years, new housing developments are still coming up in West Windsor. Any major new residential development poses significant challenge to future school boards. The school board needs to keep a watchful eye on the population trends and be prepared for any adverse changes. We should take proactive steps to work closely with the mayor’s office and the township council and prepare years ahead of any proposed residential development. In addition, we should continually assess our facility utilization and make incremental changes to be equipped for any unexpected increases."

Financial challenges

"One of the major financial challenges faced by the school district is managing the budget while staying within the mandated 2% cap. Annual increases in the cost of employee healthcare benefits, a reduction of our fair share of state aid coupled with unfunded state and federal mandates, have decreased the financial flexibility of the school boards. Since these challenges are here to stay, we will have to come up with a long term plan to manage inflation in costs while maintaining the excellence in education for each child, whether they are in the A&E program, regular education program or have special needs. We need to make data driven decisions and start saving smarter, such as combining/collapsing programs/activities that are currently underutilized or investigating shared-services agreements."

School safety

"I applaud the increased measures the district has taken including visitor controls, facility improvements, training and intervention and staffing, including its “Eyes-on-Doors” policy. I am glad that the district did not take a reactive approach to the horrible events at Newtown but made practical and financially prudent changes to the security system starting with the pilot at Village and Millstone to be expanded to the middle schools and beyond. We should continue to work in cooperation with police/fire departments of both townships and parents on how to further make our schools safer. Technology security is a concern for most organizations. We should make sure that our school IT networks are well protected and all student data, including their personal & medical records, are safe. The new Chromebook program with its cloud computing platform seems to have been planned well to prevent any technology breaches."

About the district

See also: West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District, New Jersey
West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District is located in Mercer County, New Jersey
. The West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District serves students in Plainsboro and West Windsor in Mercer County, New Jersey. The population of Mercer County was 366,513 according to the 2010 U.S. Census.[5]

Demographics

Mercer County outperformed state averages for higher education achievement and median income while lagging behind the state poverty rate in 2010. The county had a poverty rate of 10.7% in the 2010 U.S. Census while the state rate was 9.4%. The 2010 U.S. Census calculated Mercer County's median income at $73,883 while the state median income was $71,180. The percentage of county residents over 25 years old with undergraduate degrees (38%) is higher than the state average (35%).[5]

Racial Demographics, 2010[5]
Race Mercer County (%) New Jersey (%)
White 66.5 73.8
Black or African American 21 14.7
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.6 0.6
Asian 9.7 9
Two or More Races 2 1.9
Hispanic or Latino 53.3 58.2

Presidential Voting Pattern[6]
Year Democratic Vote (%) Republican Vote (%)
2012 67.2 30.5
2008 67.3 31.3
2004 - -
2000 - -

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100.0%. Each column will add up to 100.0% after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages.[7]

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See also

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