Dayton residents pushing for a change in DPS School Board

Nearly mid-way through May, Dayton residents are sending a message. (WKEF/WRGT)

DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - Nearly mid-way through May, Dayton residents are sending a message.

"We just can't continue the direction the school district has gone, and it's time for a change," said Mohamed Al-Hamdani.

Al-Hamdani is running for Dayton School Board, along with Paul Bradley, Rev. William Harris, and Karen Wick. The four are sharing a slate, and competing in a crowded field. As of May 1, 15 people are in the running.

"I really just wish that people would say, 'I want to move into Dayton for the schools,' rather than 'I’m moving out of Dayton for better schools,'" said Jocelyn Rhynard.

Reynard, a mom of four, is pushing for neighborhood schools, and supports a newly released district transportation plan.

"I think the quadrant idea of busing kids within a certain quadrant, if done well, can make a really big difference," she said.

Also on the list, Ann Marie Gallin, who previously served on the board from 2000-2007. This year four seats are up: Dr. Hazel Roundtree, Ronald Lee, Adil Baguirov, and Joe Lacey. So far, Lacey is the only incumbent on the list for November.

Amid ongoing tensions at board meetings, and a current contract battle with district unions, candidates say staff and families need something different.

"The climate of the district shows a level of frustration unseen, that hasn't been seen before," Al-Hamdani said.

The Montgomery County Board of Elections said the early pool of candidates is highly unusual. On average, between six and eight candidates file for open positions.

Al-Hamdani isn't worried.

"I'm actually very excited that 15 folks have pulled petitions," he said. "I think it just shows a great interest in the community."

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