DUBLIN, Ohio — School Board races don’t normally make the news but this year it is different.
Parents who are concerned about how their children are taught, and what they’re being taught, have turned school board meetings into yelling matches.
It’s happening across the country as issues like mask-wearing, sex education policies and diversity and inclusion become topics parents are extremely passionate about.
The same is true in Dublin.
Everheart declined to speak with 10TV about her donation and Rigby and Striker did not respond to an email about questions regarding the donation.
There are no limits in Dublin on how much money a person can receive in campaign donations, and both candidates disclosed the amount, as required by law, on their campaign financial statements.
“If you don't have any campaign contribution limit then things can be really unequal between and among candidates,” said Catherine Turcer, Executive Director of Common Cause of Ohio which tracks government accountability.
Those running against Rigby and Striker have also raised concerns about the large number of donations.
“I personally have not asked for any contributions. When the amount gets to be in the thousands from a single-family or any group, the sense of indebtedness with $10,000 can easily challenge the ethical responsibilities of the role," said Dr. Ted Sun, candidate for the Dublin School Board.
“The average donation to my campaign was $77.03, and donations ranged from $10 to $600,” Lindsay Gillis, Candidate for Dublin School Board.
“Spending that much certainly is a reflection of larger societal issues and hopefully a local focus on issues will be what is important to the public,” said Rick Weininger Dublin school board member.
Another group raising questions about the donations is called Positively Blue. Its goal is to educate women to run for office. It says after learning about the $10,000 donation it wants to work with the new school board to put caps on donations.
“We need to have a cap on contributions that are coming from individuals I really feel that is important so that everyone is on a level playing field,” says Tara Seward of Positively Blue.
The group is also pushing for more diversity on the school board. Right now, there is no one of color. Positively Blue says the district needs to reflect the community not just by race but from different economic backgrounds.
“Forty-one percent of the student population in Dublin is non-white. We’ve seen the area grow socio-economically, racially, but our school board does not represent that, “ said Stephanie Pyser, Co-Founder of Positively Blue.
“We have a lot of kids who qualify for free lunches. If you compare just the high schools at Scioto it’s 32% that qualify for free lunch, it’s 1.9% at Jerome. So it’s important that those who are less fortunate weigh in on this,” Seward said.
How much difference money will make in this race remains to be seen.
Here’s how much each candidate has raised according to their campaign filings:
- Diana Rigby: $28,765
- Cheri Striker: $19,907
- Imran Malik: $16,160
- Tiffany deSilva: $7,563
- Lindsay Gillis: $9,074
- Lynn May: $0 (current board member)
- Rick Weininger: $0 (current board member)
- Dr. Ted Sun: $0