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Politics & Government

Big Changes Coming to Pittsburgh School Board

There will be a slew of new faces on the Pittsburgh Public School Board come January despite every incumbent board member on Tuesday’s ballot claiming victory.

It was the odd number districts that were up for election this year and of the five incumbents that could have run for reelection, only one did.  In District 3, incumbent Thomas Sumpter ran unopposed and thus was assured re-election. 

In District 1 incumbent and board president Sharene Shealey decided not to seek a second term,  and Sylvia Wilson cross-filed as both a Republican and a Democrat and won both nominations.  She defeated Lucille Prater-Holliday on the Democratic side and was unopposed on the Republican ballot. Unless an independent mounts a successful November campaign, Wilson will succeed Shealey.

In District 5, Terry Kennedy cross-filed and easily won both races beating Democrat Stephen Dean DeFlitch. “I would like to lobby Harrisburg and hopefully with the help of other large urban districts and large suburban districts to fix the formulas for funding special education and charter school funding,” said Kennedy.

12-year Incumbent Theresa Colaizzi opted not to run in the 5th saying it was time to hand the torch to a younger member of the community who still had children in the district.

District 9 had Carolyn Klug beating David Schuilenburg and Lorraine Burton Eberhardt in the Democratic contest as incumbent Floyd McCrea opted not to seek a fourth 4-year term.

“I would like to see our children have a well rounded education and I think that we need to celebrate the good things that are happening in Pittsburgh,” said Klug who also ran unopposed as a Republican and will be able to walk into a victory in the November general election.

In District 7 Jean Fink decided it was also time to walk away from the board after more than three decades of service.  She warned the next school board members that they need to tackle the issue of charter school funding formulas.  

“The state has a set formula for how much you have to pay a charter school and it does not matter if it bricks and mortar or if its cyber,” said Fink.  “If its cyber they are getting paid about three times as much as it actually costs to educate a child.  It’s insane.”

Fink will be succeeded by Cynthia Ann Falls who was unopposed on both ballots.