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Chalkbeat's IPS school board survey: Where the candidates stand

Indianapolis Public School Board candidates David Hampton, Samantha Adair-White, Annie Roof, Kelly Bentley and Josh Owens sit at a candidate forum hosted by the Greater Indianapolis NAACP chapter last month.
Indianapolis Public School Board candidates David Hampton, Samantha Adair-White, Annie Roof, Kelly Bentley and Josh Owens sit at a candidate forum hosted by the Greater Indianapolis NAACP chapter last month.
Hayleigh Colombo

All of the 10 candidates running for IPS school board are now on the record, stating where they stand on key issues like partnering with charter schools, shrinking the central office budget, Superintendent Lewis Ferebee’s leadership and the state’s policy of providing publicly-funded vouchers for private school tuition support.

Chalkbeat asked the candidates running for three seats up for a vote this fall on the Indianapolis Public School Board where they stand on the issues in a survey, and those results are now live in our interactive election tracker, which allows you to easily compare and contrast candidates’ opinions.

The election, which is already drawing big dollars in contributions to some of the candidates, is Nov. 4 and the deadline to register to vote was Monday.

There are three open seats on the IPS school board: the at-large seat currently filled by board president Annie Roof, a seat representing the Northwest side and part of downtown occupied by Michael Brown, and a seat representing the North side of the district and parts of Midtown held by Samantha Adair-White.

Roof has four challengers in the at-large race, three of whom — former state Rep. Mary Ann Sullivan, Butler instructor Josh Owens and pastor David Hampton — favor significant reforms for the district. Brown has one challenger, a charter school dean named LaNier Echols. Adair-White is opposed by Kelly Bentley, who formerly held her seat, and James Turner, a charter school employee.

Read more: Six critical questions the school board election will answer

Find the candidates’ responses to Chalkbeat’s survey here:

At-large race:

Incumbent Annie Roof says IPS is improving.

Mary Ann Sullivan says charter-like autonomy would benefit IPS schools.

David Hampton supports change with teacher support.

Josh Owens calls for IPS to help students catch up with tutoring.

Ramon Batts is skeptical of business influence.

District 5 race:

Incumbent Michael Brown argues IPS can improve by repeating what already works.

LaNier Echols would push for school choice and working with charters.

District 3 race:

Incumbent Samantha Adair-White says more support will improve IPS schools.

Kelly Bentley believes better leadership can improve IPS.

James Turner urges IPS to reject partnerships and look inward.

To see how the candidates’ answers compare to other candidates, visit Chalkbeat’s special election page (coming Tuesday) for an interactive election tracker.

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