Every two years, voters have a chance to weigh in on the future of Indianapolis Public Schools.
The race for school board has already attracted a crowded field of contenders but today is the first day to officially file a petition to run so interested candidates still have a chance to join the fray.
The vote is held on the same day as the general election, November 8, and the deadline for filing to enter the election is August 26 at noon.
So what does it take to get a spot on the ballot? Here are the basics for aspiring candidates.
The IPS school board has four seats up for election for four-year terms. Three of the seats on the ballot represent specific areas of the city, while the fourth is an at-large seat that represents voters throughout the district. To run for a local district seat, candidates must reside in the area the board seat represents.
The seats up for a vote include:
- District 1, which includes the near eastside, and is currently held by Michael O’Connor;
- District 2, which follows the Massachusetts Avenue corridor northeast of downtown, and is currently held by Gayle Cosby;
- District 4, which includes the areas south and west of downtown, and is currently held by Diane Arnold; and
- An at-large seat currently held by Sam Odle.
For candidates to get their name on the ballot, they must file a petition for nomination with the election board that includes 10 signatures from registered voters who live in the area of the district the candidate is vying to represent.
To be eligible to participate, candidates must be registered voters who have lived in Indianapolis Public Schools district for at least a year prior to election. They cannot hold an elected or appointed office under the board or for the city of Indianapolis, and they cannot have a financial interest in a school district contract or purchase.
For more details, contact the Marion County Election Board, read the 2016 Indiana Candidate Manual or dig into Indiana Code, which has a special section devoted to the minutia of filling the school board.
Candidates who plan to raise or spend more than $500 must also open campaign finance committees.