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Amid School Closures, KCMO School Board Draws New Candidates


Kansas City, Mo. – Kansas City, Missouri's school board is facing the unenviable decision of having to close a significant number of the district's schools. But amid the downsizing, there's a surprising number of candidates running for the board in April's election. Ten candidates are vying for five seats in April's school board election. Two of the races, for the second and sixth sub-districts, have only one candidate each. But it's still a far cry from the past two elections, when none of the seats were contested.

KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross spoke to many of the candidates about their motivation for running, and to Airick Leonard West, who with his organization Kansas Citians United for Educational Achievement, ran a School Board School, to train potential candidates and others to get involved in school board elections. Also weighing in is Melissa Eddy, of Do the Right Thing for Kids, who believes that an appointed school board would better serve the district's students.

Candidates running in the April 6th KCMO School Board Election:

Rose Marie Bell
Kyleen Carroll
Cokethea Hill (incumbent)
Kenneth Hughlon
Robert Peterson
Crispin Rea

Sub-District Two
Derek Richey (incumbent)

Sub-District Four
Joseph Jackson
Linwood Tauheed

Sub-District Six
Marilyn Simmons (incumbent, currently School Board President).

Upcoming School Board Candidate Forums

February 23 6:00p.m.- 8:00p.m.
Kansas City Call
Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center

February 25 6:30p.m.- 8:00p.m.
Missouri Charter Public School Association
Academie Lafayette

February 27 11:00a.m. - 1:00p.m.
Women of Missouri Western First COGIC & KC Chapter of International League of Muslim Women
Barker Temple COGIC, 1701 Highland

March 1 8:30a.m.-10:00a.m.
Black Agenda
Metropolitan MBC, Linwood & Park

March 4 5:30p.m.-7:30p.m.
La Galeria, 2918 Southwest Blvd

March 8 8:30a.m.-10:00a.m.
Black Agenda
Metropolitan MBC, Linwood & Park

March 9 7:00p.m.-9:00p.m.
Greater Mt. Zion, 46th & Cleveland

March 11 7:00p.m.-8:30p.m.
League of Women Voters
Tony Aguirre Community Center, 2050 West Pennway

This story was produced for KC Currents. To listen on your own schedule, subscribe to the KC Currents Podcast.

Sylvia Maria Gross is storytelling editor at KCUR 89.3. Reach her on Twitter @pubradiosly.
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