Iowa City School Board race crowded with candidates - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa City School Board race crowded with candidates

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

It's almost time for school board elections and in one Eastern Iowa district, it's a crowded field of candidates. Recent controversial decisions made by the Iowa City School Board led nine people to run for three open seats.

Those decisions include the 10-year Facilities Master Plan, which calls for closing Hoover Elementary School, and implementing a diversity policy based on equalizing the number of students on Free and Reduced Lunch plans across schools in the district.

Here's a summary of the candidates and what they stand for in alphabetical order.

Sara Barron wants to be an advocate for students of all races and economic levels. She believes parents have lost faith in the board and hopes to be elected to earn back trust by making transparent decisions.

Karla Cook currently serves as the Vice President on the board and wants to continue the work she's done, especially improving district facilities. Cook believes accommodating growing enrollment is the district's biggest challenge moving forward.

Tuyet Dorau is the other incumbent. She says her experience as a free and reduced lunch student helps her be a voice for the district's low-income students. She thinks the board needs to do a better job communicating with the public.

Gregg Geerdes says the school board is making facilities decisions now that will shape the district for the next 25 to 50 years. He's running because he wants to see that done fairly, intelligently, and affordably.

Phil Hemingway has attended every school board meeting for four consecutive years. He wants to serve as a watchdog, monitoring district spending, while updating and modernizing schools to meet growing enrollment.

Brian Kirschling thinks there's inequities in school facilities and in the educational experience of students. He hopes to be elected to bridge the performance gaps between schools and to help see that buildings are improved.

Jason T. Lewis wants to be elected to help implement some of the decisions the current board has made. He says the district needs to come together as one and find a way serve all students equally.

Chris Lynch wants the board to get back to the basics by focusing on education. He wants to see Iowa City schools become the best in the country by developing standards for classrooms and schools.

Jim Tate hopes to improve education for all students whether they're college bound or not. He thinks the district should offer more trade training, and partner more with the University of Iowa to help advanced students.

Election day is September 10, 2013. Early voting is already underway.

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