Nashville Organized for Action and Hope (NOAH) hosted the first of four virtual forums Tuesday for school board candidates to address questions and issues facing Metro Nashville Schools.
Candidates Brian Hubert and Emily Masters are running to replace District 3 incumbent Jill Speering, who will not seek reelection, and discussed a variety of issues.
Hubert, a local businessman, described himself as a home-grown candidate who graduated from Hunters Lane High School and is running a grassroots campaign with small donations.
Masters has served on the Parent Teacher Organization board at Dan Mills Elementary for seven years and has been endorsed by the Metropolitan Nashville Education Association (MNEA), Central Labor Council of Nashville and Middle Tennessee and Speering.
NOAH members questioned candidates about solutions on a range of racial and economic issues currently facing Nashville schools.
Candidates were asked on how to approach racial inequality in public schools, given that Black students were three times more likely to be suspended than white students in Metro Nashville Public Schools for the 2019/2020 year.
Masters supports the notion of solutions that promote equity, providing more training to teachers and appropriate support staff. Hubert agrees there is racial injustice in the school system and encourages building a support system that provides discipline on an individual level.
Both candidates were asked to address economic issues such as budget cuts and promoting MNPS as a competitive choice. Masters sees a need to promote equity in schools by redistributing additional resources to needy schools and finding funds to promote additional training and improve teacher retention. Hubert promotes giving more autonomy to schools with creative programs that have seen results and addressing root issues in low-performing charter schools.
“I’m not running for just my kids, I’m running for all kids,” said Masters, “I’m passionate about supporting and encouraging students and teachers. I sincerely want to be an advocate for our schools.”
“I’m sort of the outsider’s choice here,” said Hubert, “I wanted to provide the citizens of this district an option that will be a change. Something different from what we have.”
NOAH is a faith-led social-justice organization that addresses issues dealing with race and political issues but does not endorse political candidates. NOAH focuses on education, affordable housing and economic equity and allows a platform for the public to engage in political and economic discussions affecting their neighborhoods.
State and federal primary elections are scheduled for August 6.