VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — This midterm election, one of the hottest local contests across the nation is for school board. The post-pandemic world has created great debate as to what schools should teach and what public education should look like for students. This certainly holds true in Virginia Beach where some are looking to ‘flip’ the school board.

There are more than a dozen candidates running for seats on the school board in the resort city.

The candidates are:

District 2: Alexis Gerdes, Amy Solares and Kimberly Melnyk (i)
District 4: Kenneth Lubeck and Staci Martin
District 6: Michael Callan and Sharon Felton (i)
District 8: David Culpepper and Carolyn Rye (i)
District 9: Carolyn Weems (i) and Erika Guess
District 10: Kathleen Brown and Kim Bentley

Solares, Lubeck, Callan, Culpepper, Weems and Brown are endorsed by Virginia Beach political action committee, Students First VA. According to its website, the group supports parental choice and opposes teaching critical race theory.

Its supporters have accused the current board, as a whole, of implementing policies during the pandemic that may have harmed students, including shutting down schools.

The current board has also battled recently over books. In May, “Gender Queer,” a graphic novel and memoir written by author Maia Kobabe, was removed from shelves across Virginia Beach School Division libraries.

While school board elections are typically non-partisan, this year there seems to be a clear conservative and liberal line drawn in many races.

Parents are expected to engage more than ever as these issues are personal for their families.