Meet Kyle Ross

Mar 12, 2024

Two candidates are in the running for a three-year term on the Dartmouth School Committee.

School committee candidate Kyle Ross’ introduction to public service began as a youth sports coach, which he said taught him valuable lessons in perseverance and handling adversity. Ross also ran for school committee in 2016. 

“I’m running as a dad, a coach and a friend,” Ross said. “I want to be a leader that puts personal issues and agendas aside to bring people together so we can achieve a common goal.”

Ross served as the vice-chair of the Conservation Commission and served on a committee that selected the current superintendent, June Saba-Maguire.  As a representative for the Community Preservation Committee, he said he oversaw funding that went toward projects such as acquiring open space, building playgrounds and affordable housing. 

Ross is currently employed in the public safety sector in the field of corrections. He has three kids in kindergarten through the fifth grade in Dartmouth Public Schools. His son was born in 2012 with down syndrome, and Ross said this experience has taught him that all children in public schools deserve an education built on “empathy” and “understanding.”  

There’s currently a debate over whether to do away with the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System, a standardized test that determines whether a student meets the criteria to graduate high school. 

Though Ross said he agrees that standandized testing is important for gauging student and teacher performance, his concern is that the MCAS doesn’t do enough to accommodate children with learning disabilities. 

“I would want any child with that kind of a need, no matter what they’re diagnosed with, to be able to make a successful impact on society,” Ross said. 

If elected to the school committee, Ross said he would reach out to state representatives to get a bill filed that would make allowances in MCAS so that children with special needs have an equal opportunity to earn their diploma. 

Currently, the law allows a superintendent to file an appeal on behalf of a student with a disability. 

The school committee has been considering its options for bridging its budget shortfall for fiscal year 2025. The school committee had discussed implementing a tax override, which would increase property taxes by more than 2.5%, the maximum allowed by the state. 

If elected, Ross said he would work more closely with the finance committee to ensure that all available funds are being utilized before the town raises taxes. 

“We should be combing through everything to make sure that if we have the money, then we should be appropriating it in the appropriate manner before we go and ask the taxpayer to pay more money per month,” he said.

Ross explained that tax hikes place a financial burden on parents with kids and on seniors living on a fixed income. To avoid this, Ross said he would reach out to the state delegation to secure funding through the Massachusetts Chapter 70 student aid program.

Ross also believes that the school committee needs to make more of an effort to give everyone a voice, whether or not they have children in the school system. 

To do this, he would like the school committee to take public comments from anyone, whether or not they’re on the agenda. 

“I think that parents in the community feel like they’re not heard sometimes,” Ross said. “I just feel that here in this country, we’re afforded that right for everybody to be heard—everybody can be heard.”