Less than two weeks after releasing report cards that gave low marks to most of the people running for seats on the Indianapolis Public Schools board, two community groups endorsed a slate of candidates for the board.
Concerned Clergy and OurIPS, a new group critical of the current district administration and the school reform groups that influence district policy, endorsed candidates for the four open board sets including two who mostly scored Cs on report cards that graded candidates on their positions on issues important to the groups.
The report cards came from the two groups in partnership with the NAACP, which does not endorse candidates because it is a nonprofit organization.
Three of the candidates endorsed by the group are challenging current board members, and a fourth is vying for the seat held by Gayle Cosby, who is not running for reelection.
In a surprising twist, one of the endorsed candidates is Larry Vaughn, an activist and artist who is known for disrupting school board meetings with inflammatory statements, including calling the board “child molesters.”
The others are:
- Christine Prince, a registered nurse and volunteer, who is challenging incumbent Michael O’Connor for a seat on the southeast side.
- Ramon Batts, a educator and IPS parent who ran in 2014. Batts is running against Venita Moore (who was endorsed by Stand for Children) and Nanci Lacy for Cosby’s northeast side seat. And,
- Jim Grim, a long-time advocate for community engagement in schools who works for Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Grim is running for an at-large seat against former school board member Elizabeth Gore and incumbent Sam Odle.
Chalkbeat, WFYI and the Indianapolis Recorder will host a forum featuring all 10 candidates for the board 5 p.m. Oct. 5 at Indianapolis Central Library.