Detroit School Board Race Is Too Close To Call At Michigan Chronicle’s Press Deadline

At 9:00 p.m. on “Election Day Tuesday,” the Michigan Chronicle went to press. Based on the voting results supplied by the City Clerk’s office at press time, the complete and official outcome of the race for Detroit School Board is too close to call. As more election numbers pertaining to filling the three Detroit School Board seats become available, the Michigan Chronicle will post the results on its online platform at www.michiganchronicle.com.

By many accounts, the school board race is the most important in Detroit Public Schools Community District’s long history. In the era of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are unprecedented uncertainties surrounding the wellbeing, direction, stability, and future of Detroit Public School Board Community District (DPSCD).

The purpose of the locally elected board, according to its website, is to serve as the governing body of the District and to provide public education services to children residing within the geographic boundaries of the City of Detroit. The Board is fundamentally a policy-making or legislative body rather than an administrative body. It is the responsibility of the Board to see that schools are operated properly, and not to administer them directly.

In a crowded field of 15 candidates, all vying for the three open board seats beginning in January of 2021, the Michigan Chronicle endorsed the slate of board incumbents Dr. Iris Taylor, Sonya Mays, and Misha Stallworth several weeks ago.

We felt that being in the uncharted waters of the pandemic, Taylor, Mays, and Stallworth deserved the opportunity to be re-elected to continue the stellar board work done since they were first elected in November of 2016.

Each of the three brings unique skillsets and proven track records of leadership to the school board and district. They collectively played a major role in leading the search that brought Dr. Nikolai Vitti to Detroit as superintendent of DPSCD in May of 2017.

Taylor currently serves as school board president but her term ends on Dec. 31, 2020. As president, she demonstrated unique leadership qualities, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her 40-years in healthcare, which include former roles as president of Detroit Receiving Hospital and Harper-Hutzel Hospital respectively, will prove invaluable as DPSCD charts its forward course to keep students, teachers, staff and administrators safe.

Mays serves as the board’s treasurer and oversees the finance committee. Her term also ends on Dec. 31, 2020. With Mays at the helm of two important financial entities, the board has risen to heights not seen in decades, which featured a balanced budget, three consecutive years of clean audits, and building stronger partnerships in the business community.

Stallworth, the youngest board member ever elected to DPSCD, is secretary and chairs the powerful policy committee. Like Taylor and Mays, her term ends Dec. 31, 2020.

Since winning board seats, Taylor, Mays, and Stallworth have worked in tandem with other board members to advance the district in every aspect, including boosting students’ M-STEP achievement tests scores, created to assess how well students are mastering state standards.

The Michigan Chronicle’s endorsement of Taylor, Mays, and Stallworth was based, in great part – on what we know our public-school students in Detroit need to do to remain competitive with peers in other Michigan school districts and beyond. For DPSCD students to be all that they can be, there must be strong and visionary leadership. The Chronicle sees Taylor, Mays, and Stallworth – individually and collectively – as such leaders.

 

 

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