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Cincinnati Public Schools elections (2013)

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2013 Cincinnati Public Schools Elections

General Election date:
November 5, 2013
Table of Contents
About the district
Method of election
What was at stake?
Key deadlines
Additional elections
External links
See also
Cincinnati Public Schools
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Four seats were up for election on the Cincinnati Board of Education. Melanie Bates, Ericka Copeland-Dansby, Elisa Hoffman and Daniel Minera defeated five challengers to win four at-large seats on November 5, 2013.

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.[1][2]

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.[3]


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.[3]

Racial Demographics, 2012[3]
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[4][5]
Year Democratic Vote (%) Republican Vote (%)
2012 52.5 46.1
2008 53 46
2004 47 52.5
2000 46.3 50.1

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one- or two-tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[6] This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.

Method of board member selection

The Cincinnati Board of Education consists of seven members who are elected at-large to four-year terms. There was no primary election on September 10, 2013 and the general election was held on November 5, 2013. Four seats on the board were up for election in 2013 and three seats will be on the ballot on November 3, 2015.[7]

Candidates for the Cincinnati Board of Education must be 18 years old, a resident of the district and not hold city office concurrent to board service. The Hamilton County Board of Elections required a $30 filing fee as well as at least 300 signatures by the filing deadline on August 7, 2013.[7]




  • Melanie Bates
    • Incumbent
    • Graduate, Xavier University and Northern Kentucky
    • Hospital development liaison, LifeCenter Organ Donor Network
  • Ericka Copeland-Dansby
    • Graduate, Wilberforce University and Xavier University
    • Owner, SuccessStrategies
  • Marcia A. Futel
    • Graduate, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    • Co-owner, Chuck Futel and Associates
  • Martha Good
    • Graduate, Skidmore College and Brown University
    • Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Cincinnati
  • Elisa Hoffman
    • Graduate, Colgate Universitsy
    • Recruiter, Teach for America
  • Daniel Minera
    • Pastor, Amigo Ministries
  • Sally O'Callaghan
    • Graduate, Ohio University
    • Former teacher
  • Betsy Shank
    • Retired teacher
  • Victoria Straughn
    • Clinical studies assistant, University of Cincinnati


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


On October 14, 2013, The Cincinnati Enquirer endorsed Melanie Bates, Ericka Copeland-Dansby, Marcia A. Futel and Elisa Hoffman.[8]

Campaign finance

Candidates received a total of $3,773.42 during this election, according to the Ohio Secretary of State.[9]

Candidate Contributions
Melanie Bates -
Ericka Copeland-Dansby -
Marcia A. Futel $100.00
Martha Good $73.42
Elisa Hoffman $3,500.00
Daniel Minera -
Sally O'Callaghan -
Betsy Shank $100.00
Victoria Straughn -

The Brighter Future Fund PAC reported $17,334.05 in ad spending to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on October 23, 2013. This filing covered television ads on WLWT supporting Ericka Copeland-Dansby and Elisa Hoffman between October 28 and November 4.[10][11]


The Northside Community Council hosted a forum featuring all nine candidates for the board on October 17, 2013. The candidates discussed their views on the district's lagging academic performance levels. Incumbent Melanie Bates noted that board members should pursue bold policies similar to the $1 billion improvement project undertaken over the past decade. Sally O'Callaghan argued for universal preschools throughout the district while Victoria Straughn wants fewer administrative rules that deter access to Community Learning Centers. Daniel Minera pinpointed poverty as a major cause of poor academic performance and advocated increased resources to help students in low-income families. Ericka Copeland-Dansby, Martha Good and Elisa Hoffman highlighted the need for greater community involvement in board discussions rather than a drastic shift in policy. Marcia A. Futel believes more analysis is needed to determine why academic performance is suffering. Betsy Shank suggested that improvements in student performance could strengthen public schools while attracting families away from charters and private schools.[12]

Past elections


Cincinnati Board of Education, At-large, November 8, 2011
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngEve Bolton Incumbent 32.5% 44,714
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngA. Chris Nelms Incumbent 27.5% 37,874
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngAlexander Kuhns 22% 30,276
     Nonpartisan Mary Welsh Schlueter 18% 24,759
Total Votes 137,623
Source: Hamilton County Board of Elections

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.

Key deadlines

The following dates were key deadlines for the Cincinnati Board of Education elections in 2013:[13]

Deadline Event
August 7, 2013 Last day to file nominating petitions for local nonpartisan races
October 24, 2013 Filing deadline for pre-election expense reports
November 5, 2013 Election day
November 26, 2013 Certification of election results by county officials
December 13, 2013 Filing deadline for post-election expense reports

Additional elections on the ballot

The Cincinnati Board of Education elections shared the ballot with other local and county measures. Voters in Cincinnati cast ballots for mayor and nine seats on the City Council. The ballot also featured three seats on the Hamilton County Educational Services Center Board and one seat on the Hamilton County Municipal Court. Voters also decided on two proposed tax levies for zoo and infrastructure improvements as well as an amendment to the Cincinnati City Charter that adjusts pensions for city employees.[7][14]

See also

External links

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