Parent, diversity consultant running for Iowa City school board

Schwalm receives endorsement of Baruah, whom she runs to replace

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IOWA CITY — Megan Schwalm, a parent and diversity consultant, is running for the open two-year term on the Iowa City school board, she said Tuesday.

Schwalm, 35, has been active in several community groups, including the Coalition for Racial Justice, and is working on her Ph.D. in educational policy and leadership studies at the University of Iowa, she said.

She has two children, and her son attended Horace Mann Elementary School for preschool last year.

Schwalm said she would approach equity in the Iowa City Community School District differently than the current school board has. Before voting, board members should talk more to the people affected by board decisions, she said.

The current board also “has failed” to hold administrators accountable for following district policies, Schwalm said.

Schwalm said she would not seek to reverse previous board decisions on district facilities, including the 2013 approval of a facilities plan that includes the closure of Hoover Elementary School.

Schwalm has received the endorsement of Tuyet Baruah, the board member whose resignation last week created the two-year vacancy.

Baruah said Schwalm would be able to represent her voice on diversity and equity issues.

“(Schwalm) has built a career around promoting diversity and inclusiveness,” Baruah said. “ ... She’s going to be able to, I think, do a very good job of not just listening to the constituency but doing it in a way that is inclusive, encouraging, supportive, instead of paternalistic.”

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