Betsy Shank

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Betsy Shank
Betsy Shank.jpg
Former candidate for
Cincinnati Board of Education, At-large
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
Term limitsN/A
Campaign website
Betsy Shank campaign logo
Ballotpedia's school board candidate survey
Betsy Shank was a candidate for an at-large seat on the Cincinnati Schools Board of Education. She was defeated in the November 5, 2013 general election.


Shank taught at Cincinnati Public Schools for 31 years prior to retirement. She is a member of the Know Theatre Board of Directors and a docent at the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education.[1]



See also Cincinnati Public Schools elections (2013)

Shank sought election to the board against eight other candidates for four available seats.


Cincinnati Board of Education, At-large, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngMelanie Bates Incumbent 18.1% 27,469
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngEricka Copeland-Dansby 14.8% 22,455
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngElisa Hoffman 13.8% 20,861
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngDaniel Minera 10.9% 16,537
     Nonpartisan Marcia A. Futel 10.1% 15,368
     Nonpartisan Betsy Shank 9.7% 14,752
     Nonpartisan Martha Good 9.2% 13,909
     Nonpartisan Sally O'Callaghan 8.3% 12,621
     Nonpartisan Victoria Straughn 5% 7,540
Total Votes 151,512
Source: Hamilton County, Ohio Board of Elections, "Official Results," accessed December 13, 2013


Shank reported $100 in contributions but no expenditures to the Ohio Secretary of State, which left her campaign with $100 on hand.[2]


Shank's campaign website listed the following endorsements for 2013:[3]

  • Cincinnati AFL-CIO
  • Cincinnati Women’s Political Caucus
  • Cincinnati Federation of Teachers
  • Equality Cincinnati
  • Hamilton County Democratic Party

Campaign themes


Shank's campaign website listed the following issues for 2013:[4]

Corporate Privatization of Public Education

"Counteract corporate privatization of public education by:

  • limiting the expansion of Private Education models that undermine the integrity of our public schools, by enacting policy which supports our school district."

Increase Student Success

"Continue and increase current success with:

  • Community Learning Centers
  • Nutrition Program"

Community-Based Decision Making

"Promote community-based decision-making by:

  • considering the school needs and culture when implementing policy, rather than implementing blanket policies."

Note: The above quote is from the candidate's website, which may include some typographical or spelling errors.

What was at stake?

Incumbent Melanie Bates was the only current member of the board seeking re-election in 2013. Eileen Cooper Reed and Catherine Ingram did not file for election and Vanessa White is seeking a seat on the Cincinnati City Council. Bates faced eight other candidates for four available seats on the board.


The district is contending with changing state standards for public schools embodied in the annual Ohio School Report Cards. Cincinnati Public Schools scored a C on the 2012-2013 report for overall performance and only met 45.8% of the state's performance indicators. Superintendent Mary Ronan and board members support strong standards though there is a concern that charter and private schools are not measured by the same standards.[5][6]

About the district

See also: Cincinnati Public Schools, Ohio
Cincinnati Public Schools is located in Hamilton County, Ohio
Cincinnati is the county seat of Hamilton County and located in southwestern Ohio. The city's population was 296,946 according to the 2010 U.S. Census.[7]


Cincinnati lags behind the rest of Ohio in terms of median income and poverty rate while outpacing the state in higher education attainment. The 2010 U.S. Census found that 31% of Cincinnati residents over 25 years old held undergraduate degrees compared to a 24.5% rate for the state of Ohio. Cincinnati had a median income of $34,104 in 2010 compared to $48,071 for Ohio. The poverty rate for Cincinnati was 27.4% in 2010 compared to an 14.8% rate for the rest of the state.[7]

Racial Demographics, 2012[7]
Race Cincinnati (%) Ohio (%)
White 49.3 82.7
Black or African American 44.8 12.2
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.3 0.2
Asian 1.8 1.7
Two or More Races 2.5 2.1
Hispanic or Latino 2.8 3.1

Presidential Voting Pattern[8][9]
Year Democratic Vote (%) Republican Vote (%)
2012 52.5 46.1
2008 53 46
2004 47 52.5
2000 46.3 50.1

Note: Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" percentage, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one- or two-tenths off. Read more about race and ethnicity in the Census here.[10]

Recent news

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