IOWA CITY — Chris Liebig, a parent who has advocated for reversing the planned closure of Hoover Elementary School, will run for a two-year term on the Iowa City school board, he said last week.
Liebig, who frequently blogs about local education issues, listed school closures as among his reasons for running in a post Thursday. He said the Iowa City Community School District’s responsiveness to community members will be the primary issue in his campaign.
“I’ve been writing online for almost six years (long before the Hoover closure) about the increasingly top-down nature of public education and how the school system seems increasingly removed from meaningful democratic control,” Liebig wrote in an email Tuesday.
“The Hoover closure decision — made in face of clear public opposition to school closures — is one manifestation of that larger problem,” he added.
The needs of disadvantaged students and families and a planned 2017 bond vote to fund facility projects also will be among the focuses of his campaign, Liebig wrote in the blog post.
Liebig has served as the treasurer of Save Hoover, a group of parents and community members promoting the issue, and candidates’ positions on it, in this year’s school board election. He said Tuesday he turned over the treasurer duties to another person before becoming a candidate.
“I do intend to remain active with the Save Hoover group, though, because I fully support its goals,” he wrote in the email. While other candidates share his position on Hoover, Liebig said, he was not aware of any plan for those candidates to run together.
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Liebig said last month that the Save Hoover group had not decided whether to endorse any school board candidates. The group has raised more than $4,000, he said July 15,
The district also should recognize the limits of what it can do to address poverty and income inequality, including through school boundary changes, Liebig said.
“I do not think there is sufficient public support for boundary plans that send kids to schools much farther from their homes when there is a school close by,” he wrote in the email.
Liebig also works as a law professor at the University of Iowa. His children attend Hoover, South East Junior High School and City High School.