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Want to know where Memphis school board candidates stand? Check our voter guide.


A voter casts his ballot inside the library of Havenview Middle School in October 2019.

Daniel Connolly / Commercial Appeal

Update, July 17, 2020: Shelby County Schools board candidate Mauricio Calvo is suspending his campaign and endorsing Sheleah Harris to oust incumbent Scott McCormick.

Calvo is the executive director of nonprofit advocacy organization Latino Memphis and said when he decided to run for school board, he thought the coronavirus spread would be less than what it is now. 

“As COVID-19 continues to surge and disproportionately impact the Hispanic community and other vulnerable populations, I must give my undivided attention to this crisis,” Calvo said in a statement Friday as early voting started for the Aug. 6 election.

He also said Harris, a former teacher and graduate of Cordova High School in District 5, would represent the interests of Hispanic students. Calvo, the only Hispanic candidate in the race, said his daughter had her first Hispanic teacher as a high school sophomore last year. 

“As a Black woman, Sheleah understands the importance of representation and her presence would add another impressive woman into the ranks of public service in Memphis and Shelby County,” Calvo said.

We have removed Calvo from the voter guide below.

A majority of the seats on Shelby County Schools’ board are up for election as leaders prepare for a school year full of uncertainties because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Fifteen people are vying for five spots on the school board governing Tennessee’s largest district on Aug. 6. Early voting starts July 17.

We asked candidates to share their thoughts on major education issues facing the district. Below you can sort through each school board district race and see candidates’ answers to a survey Chalkbeat sent out last month. Some of the questions came from our readers.

You can learn even more about how candidates hope to lead the district by attending our upcoming forums via videoconferencing:

  • Districts 2, 3, and 4: 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 16 
  • District 5 and 7: 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Monday, July 20

Please RSVP to receive a Zoom link for one or both forums. If you’re unsure which district you live in, check out these maps.

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