Get to Know ‘Em

The city-wide school board candidate forum is tonight! With elections just two weeks away and the majority of our school board members turning over this year, now is the time to get to know who is running for these incredibly important positions. Pittsburgh is lucky that we don’t yet have giant amounts of outside money pouring into our school board races, like other cities are seeing this year. [See “School Boards Matter”] As a handful of ultra-wealthy folks try to buy school boards friendly to their ideological agenda of corporate-style reform, the only way we here in the grassroots can fight back and preserve the democratic process is to do our part and get to know the local candidates – and then vote.

Tonight is your chance to ask questions and learn where your future school board members stand on issues such as school closures, charter reform, privatization, and high-stakes-testing. Are they willing to lobby Harrisburg for adequate, equitable, and sustainable state funding? Will they be champions of policies that keep the public in public education? Come find out from 6 – 8PM tonight at the lovely new Hillman Auditorium, Kaufmann Center in the Hill District (1835 Centre Ave., Pittsburgh PA 15219).

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The primary elections are Tuesday, May 21st. This is when the school board races will be decided (though the winners will appear on the fall ballot, the primary is where the real race happens).
  • Find your voting place here.
  • The school board districts have been re-drawn this year (for instance, my entire Point Breeze neighborhood got moved!). Find your district here.
  • Check out this handy school board candidate voter’s guide that A+ Schools compiled.

The forum will be moderated by Dynae Shaw, a senior at Pittsburgh Obama, and is co-hosted by A+ Schools, the League of Women Voters, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. We are co-sponsoring the event, along with a broad coalition of community partners:

100 Black Men of Western PA
Advocates for African American Students in PPS
Amachi Pittsburgh
Big Brothers Big Sisters  of Greater PGH
BPEP/Coalition Against Violence
Carrick Community Council
Communities in Schools
Coro Center for Civic Leadership
Future Champs Organization
Hill District Education Council
Homewood Children’s Village
Know the Joys of Love and Respect
MGR – Youth Empowerment
NAACP Pittsburgh Unit
NorthShore Community Alliance
North Side Leadership Conference
One Pittsburgh
Overbrook Community Council
PCTV 21 Community Television
Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network
Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers
Pittsburgh Project
Pittsburgh Promise
Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh

Still need a reason to get involved in the school board elections? Check out this video made by local students:

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