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Local school board seats hot commodity in November election

140 people are running for 83 seats in Cuyahoga County
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Posted at 10:06 AM, Oct 13, 2021

CLEVELAND — Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Justice said it would investigate threats made against school board members. This comes after a cry for help went up from boards across the country; several seeing tensions rise at meetings. Heated debates over masking and vaccinations means vitriol is hurled at school board members.
Despite that, ballots for board seats in Northeast Ohio are full.

"I have not seen the kinds of disinformation driven outrage that has been showing up in school board meetings over the last few months," said Scott Dimauro, the president of the Ohio Education Association.

DeMauro said, in the past, people who usually sit on school boards are there for the kids with no real political agenda.

"That's certainly what we hope," he said.

The national issues aren't slowing down the race for some spots in Cuyahoga County.

There are 140 people running for 83 spots on district boards in the area.

One of those people is Nneka Slade Jackson. 

"As much as we have done, we still have far to go," Jackson said about why she's running again.

Her race is uncontested, so she'll keep her seat on the Richmond Heights School Board. Entering her third term, she's seen the focus pivot toward school boards.

"We're in this space where we're fighting for the interests we believe in and we make sure we're doing the best for all," Jackson said.

There are 11 uncontested and 19 contested school board races in the county. Early voting has stared.