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Columbus School Board Candidates Gather For Downtown Forum

Columbus City Schools District Office.
Nick Evans
Columbus City Schools District Office.

Local education groups are hosting a forum of Columbus school board candidates at Columbus Downtown High School on Tuesday night. The six people running for a spot on the Columbus City School Board will be on hand.

Five candidates are running for four seats on the city school board, and a sixth candidate is running unopposed to finish out a term for which he was appointed.

However there aren’t many new faces in the field, all but one are incumbent members of the school board.

Mike Alcock. who heads up Southside STAY, a booster organization for public schools in the South High pathway, says one issue stands out in the campaign.

“You know I think a lot of folks are concerned and rightly so about the state report cards that were released this year,” Alcock says.

Columbus City Schools actually saw its grade improve slightly for 2018, but it still earned a D overall.

Alcock notes the board will also have to wrestle with the district's long-term facilities plan, after pulling the plug on a broad restructuring a year ago.

“The condition of various buildings both schools and then obviously buildings that the district owns and operates,” Alcock said. “Looking long term at that process and thinking about where that was left off last school year and where that will move forward.”

Southside STAY is co-hosting the forum with fellow public school advocate Clintonville Go Public as well as the Urban League and the League of Women Voters. The event runs from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Childcare is available, although organizers are requesting parents RSVP ahead of time.

Nick Evans was a reporter at WOSU's 89.7 NPR News. He spent four years in Tallahassee, Florida covering state government before joining the team at WOSU.