The race has now begun in an election in which challengers aim to shake up the Indianapolis Public Schools Board.
Today was the deadline to file petitions to run for office in November, and 10 candidates have indicated they will run for four seats on the ballot. The three incumbents running for re-election all have challengers.
Three incumbent board members are: Sam Odle (at-large), Diane Arnold (district 4) and Michael O’Connor (district 1). Board member Gayle Cosby (district 2) announced months ago she would not run for reelection.
There were two surprises in the filling: Christine Prince (a nurse) will challenge O’Connor for the district 1 seat and Patrice Abduallah (a former City-County councilor whose name was circulated as a possible candidate for district 4) was not listed as having filed by the deadline and apparently will not be a candidate.
Several challengers who have been public about their plans to run also filed to be on the ballot:
- Elizabeth Gore (a former IPS board member), and
- Jim Grim (a director for Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and advocate for community services in schools).
- Venita Moore (whose daughter graduated from Crispus Attucks),
- Nanci Lacy (an IPS parent and education activist), and
- Ramon Batts (an IPS parent and who ran in 2014).
- Larry Vaughn (an activist and perennial candidate for public office).
Since the current reform-oriented board members won their seats by large margins in 2012 and 2014, the board has vigorously pursued policies aimed at increasing partnerships with charter schools and improving the district’s lowest performing schools.