Get to know the School Board candidates: Carla Bates


On Sept. 9, Minneapolis voters will vote to send six of nine candidates for School Board to the general election on Nov. 4. Three of those six will be elected to at-large seats.

Address and phone numbers are provided via public filing information; website or email has been provided by the candidate, when applicable.

Carla Bates
Mary Buss
Jill Davis
Thomas Dicks
Sharon Henry-Blythe
Allison Johnson
Lydia Lee
Doug Mann
Kari Reed

Carla Bates
2504 37th Ave. S.

Currently an IT professional in the University of Minnesota’s Psychology Department, Bates has previously worked for three years at both the Head Start program and Outward Bound. She holds a PhD in American Studies from the U of M and is currently working towards a Masters of Education in Instructional Technology.

Bates said the biggest challenge facing the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) is “doing more with the same amount of money.” To improve the quality of teaching and restore public confidence in the school system, maximum effort needs to be put into supporting teachers in the classroom and improving accountability of the School Board through transparency and public oversight. These two goals would

Bates sees the Board’s primary job as supporting individual schools. She would lead the board to “focus on how we deliver services and provide infrastructure support to schools.” Creating a transparent budgeting process “that makes sense” to everyone, she said, would let parents, school staff and administrators make sure resources are distributed “equitably and sustainably” among schools, and ensure that teachers have enough resources to provide a quality education.

Above all else, she emphasized that each school in the district needs to build and improve its relationships with its neighborhood.

“I don’t have an ideological commitment to a particular reform agenda,” she said. “Accountability is the key.” In her observation, what makes any educational system work was “a bunch of people committed to a particular community,” rather than a particular structure like charter, magnet, or neighborhood schools.