The filing deadline for Ohio’s Columbus City Schools Board of Education was February 6, 2019. Five at-large seats are up for nonpartisan general election on November 5—four for a full term and one for an unexpired term. A total of six candidates filed, the lowest since 2011.
Incumbent James C. Ragland, who was appointed to a vacant seat, was the only candidate to file for the unexpired term. Five candidates filed for the four remaining seats up for election. Incumbent Eric Brown and recently-appointed incumbent Jennifer Adair will face challengers Carol Beckerle, Kimberley Mason, and Tina Pierce.
The Board of Education is guaranteed two new members, since incumbents Gary Baker and Shawna Gibbs are not running for re-election. This means that the incoming Board of Education will have either four or five of seven board members who have served roughly one year or less on the board; Ragland took office in November 2018 and Adair took office in January 2019. The current board has two members who joined the board less than a year ago, two who joined the board in 2007, and one each who joined the board in 2009, 2014, and 2015.
From 2011 to 2017, the Columbus City Schools Board of Education saw the number of candidates running per seat grow each year—from 0.75 candidates running per seat in 2011 to 2.66 candidates running per seat in 2017. In 2019, the number of candidates fell to 1.2 candidates running per seat.
Columbus City Schools was the largest school district in Ohio and served 50,028 students during the 2015-2016 school year.