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Education news and issues in the Ozarks.

Hopeful Candidates for SPS School Board Await the Next Step

Theresa Bettmann

Tuesday was the petition deadline for those wishing to be considered as a Springfield Public Schools Board of Education candidate for the upcoming spring election. 

SPS Spokesperson Teresa Bledsoe says five candidates are vying for three, at-large positions on the SPS board.

“Our current Board member Bruce Renner was one of them.  The new potential candidates are Swayne Loftis, Patricia Ingold, Jill Patterson and Francine Pratt,” Bledsoe says.

Eligible candidates must be at least 24 years old, have lived in Missouri for at least one year, and be a registered voter within the district.  Once elected, school board term limits are six years.   Bledsoe says a candidate’s first step is filing a petition.

“To be considered they have to submit at least 500 verified signatures.  And that has to be 500 individuals who are registered voters within the Springfield Public Schools attendance area,” explains Bledsoe.

The next step is for officials to verify the signatures on each petition, which is expected to be completed by early next week.  Valid signatories must live within the SPS attendance area - not just within the city limits. Names and addresses must appear exactly as on a voter registration card in order to be counted.

Those candidates successfully completing this process will be eligible to appear on the ballot for the April election. The top three vote getters will earn their spot on the board.