Letter to the Editor: Vote JP Claussen for ICCSD School Board

Photo by Adam Burke
Photo by Adam Burke
By April Dirks, PhD, Iowa City

Dear Iowa City Voters:

Please take a moment on July 19th during a special election to vote for JP Claussen for the open seat on the Iowa City School Board. As an educator and a long term Iowa City resident with two children in the elementary school system myself, I can say with great enthusiasm that I fully support JP Claussen for the very important position of school board member. I have known the candidate for over a decade and have always been amazed by his level of community involvement and commitment to serve others. Not only is JP an involved father interested in education but he also has lengthy experience in special education serving the Iowa City School District for years as an educator. In that time as an educator he had experience serving as the president of the teachers union and has an understanding of administration and education alike. JP will not be a candidate who will “rubber stamp” items that come to the school board nor is he a one-sided candidate who will vote with popular opinion of the day. JP Claussen is a candidate with an independent mind and the experience to serve on the Iowa City School Board. With his commitment to social justice issues related to the economy, housing, and racial issues I feel confident in my vote for JP Claussen on July 19. I hope that you will also take the time to vote during this very important special election. The education of our children is something that I trust in the hands of community member JP Claussen.

April Dirks, PhD


  1. Why is this picture of City High connected to this letter of support for JP Claussen? This is totally inappropriate especially since most policies that this candidate supports are detrimental to City High and West High. He doesn’t think balanced populations, equity of facilities and course offerings, and overcrowding issues are important. He is using high school bussing as a negative when transportation is a huge issue for many students who don’t qualify for bussing. A school bus ride for many would be a blessing not a handicap to learning. He does not recognize that transportation has been an issue for years and wants people to think it is something that has recently been been forced on students.

    Ms. Dirks can have any opinion that she wants to have but introducing her opinion with a pig picture of City High School is very misleading.


  3. JP is in favor of boundaries and policies that are horribly detrimental to City High, and to West as well. So disgusted to see this picture here. Caring about the academic achievement of our most vulnerable students should be a top priority. Tell the truth: Put a picture of wealthy schools that you will allow to continue to remain so to the detriment of those less advantaged. Put a picture of a two tiered school system that works well for wealthy white kids and poorly for others.

  4. Jean and Janet (above) misrepresent JP in their comments here. I would be surprised if they have spoken with him, or read his in-depth essays regarding his thoughts about the FMP. JP has lived on the south side of town for many years. His son recently graduated from City High, and JP taught at West High. He is a fierce advocate for poor and marginalized people. He speaks directly to the Facilities Master Plan issue here: if you’re interested in knowing what he really thinks.

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