Earlier this month, Minneapolis Republicans held their first city convention in five years and endorsed Tangletown resident David Dayhoff for the School Board. Dayhoff, 32, is the party's only endorsed School Board candidate; three of seven Board seats will be decided in November.
Dayhoff, a licensed high school teacher in New Jersey, is now a corporate marketing manager who has lived in the Twin Cities since 1999. He and his wife are expecting their first child in June, and he expects to be a Minneapolis public school parent. "One of my applause lines when I speak to groups is that five years from now, I expect to see Minneapolis schools on the dramatic upswing," Dayhoff said.
Dayhoff said he decided to run in part because he was "frustrated" by the Board's recent decision to close schools, which it subsequently postponed. "The school closing debate…is a great example of the lack of leadership," he said. "If the Board had been responsible about the big picture, it should have been no surprise to us all that they were going to propose consolidating some schools, and furthermore, we should have known how that move would fit with a new strategy for revitalizing the district."
Although legislative Republicans have cut aid to Minneapolis schools, Dayhoff said, "I'm certainly not campaigning that the schools have too much money. But before we ask the voters for more funds, they deserve to be shown how [funds] will be better spent."
He calls himself a party moderate who has "not dug too deeply into" social-studies standards that have split state Republicans and DFLers. He said "it's a real shame" if schools can't teach more facts, advocated by Republican education leaders, while teaching students to analyze situations, which DFLers advocate.
Dayhoff said he might also seek Independence Party endorsement. DFLers who have announced for the 2004 race are Lydia Lee, Peggy Flanagan, Gloria Freeman and incumbents Dennis Schapiro and Sharon Henry-Blythe. Doug Mann, a 2002 candidate, is also running.