Education

What you need to know about Cedar Rapids school board elections

A look at who's running, their views and Election Day details

“I voted” buttons lay in a bowl on the voting machine in Coralville, Iowa. (Gazette file photo)
“I voted” buttons lay in a bowl on the voting machine in Coralville, Iowa. (Gazette file photo)

School elections are Tuesday, and if you’re in the Cedar Rapids school district, you’re voting on a public measure and four candidates. Education reporter Molly Duffy has rounded up information you should know to help you vote in this election.

Eight candidates are seeking three seats on the board that oversees the Cedar Rapids Community School District. Polls are open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Closing time is an hour earlier than previous elections.)

Looking for results?Click here when polls close to find updated results from this election

Just the FAQs: What you need to know to vote in Tuesday’s city and school elections

Who are the candidates?

Three incumbents decided not to seek reelection, opening District 1 and two at-large seat entirely open to newcomers. In District 1, David Tominsky is running unopposed. Incumbent Rafael Jacobo is seeking another term in District 4, challenged by Dexter Mershbrock.

Five are running for the two at-large seats: Maurice Davis, Cindy Garlock, Janelle Lund, Joseph Miller and Jennifer Neumann.

Read about each of them here:

District 4

Dexter Mershbrock opposes school facilities plan that closes 8 elementary buildings

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Rafael Jacobo, first elected in 2015, says his focus is on ‘all kids’

At-large

Maurice Davis sees potential in helping young people and “issues of the future”

Cindy Garlock brings experience as retired teacher, Democratic activist

Janelle Lund calls for transparency, is against plan to close schools

Joseph Miller pledges healing, transparency in run for board

Businesswoman Jen Neumann want to reach students “in the middle”

District 1

NewBoCo’s David Tominsky seeks seat vacated by 17-year incumbent

Hear from each candidate

The Gazette invited all the school board candidates to write columns on why they are running. Here’s what they said:

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• Jacobo: No one-size-fits-all approach to education

• Merschbrock: Community won’t forget tough questions

• Davis: Treat students like humans, not test scores

• Garlock: Passion for public education runs deep

• Lund: Start honest and open dialogue with educators

• Miller: Straight answers for Cedar Rapids schools

• Neumann: Great teachers deliver student success

And if you’re curious where The Gazette’s editorial board stands:

The Gazette’s endorsement: Editorial board backs candidates with vision beyond facilities plan

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What else is on the ballot?

Voters will also weigh in on Public Measure E, where they will be asked “To adopt a revenue purpose statement to authorize the expenditure of revenue from the State of Iowa Secure an Advanced Vision for Education Fund by the Cedar Rapids Community School District?”

For more on understanding what that ballot language means, and what would happen if it passes or fails, read why Public Measure E for schools is controversial in Cedar Rapids.

Have questions?

For more information on voting, finding your precinct and what’s on the ballot, visit Linn County’s Election Services website.

Find your polling place: Use this address lookup tool from Linn County

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Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.