Your Ticket to Understanding School Board Politics, Issue #4 – Ballotpedia News


welcome to Hall pass. Each week, we bring you a roundup of the latest school board elections, as well as insightful commentary and research from across the political spectrum on the issues facing school boards in all 14,000 school districts across the country. We’ll also bring you the latest information on school board elections and recall efforts, including nomination deadlines and election results.

In today’s edition you will find:

  • On the issues: teacher unions and school policies
  • School Board Filing Deadlines, Election Results and Reminder Certificates
  • Why some states are rethinking participation in the National School Board Association
  • Candidate Connection Survey

On the issues

In each edition, we curate reports, analysis, and commentary on one of the issues that school members consider as they set out to provide the best possible education in their district.

The debate over the impact of teacher unions on schools and policies

School districts across the country are negotiating contracts with teachers’ unions. Debates about the impact of unions in school districts are a permanent feature of the political landscape surrounding school governance.

Below, Glenn Sacks, a social studies teacher at a high school in the Los Angeles Unified School District, writes that public teachers’ unions advocate policies that protect teachers’ time from activities such as yard work and supervising school events. Sacks says it gives teachers more time to focus on the students.

Edward Ring, editor and senior fellow at the California Policy Center, writes that public teachers’ unions tend to advocate inefficient work rules, negotiate unsustainable wages and benefits with the politicians they help elect and protect bad teachers. Ring also says unions protect what he calls a left-wing agenda in the classrooms. the California Policy Center describes itself as “a nonprofit educational organization working for the prosperity of all Californians by removing public sector barriers to freedom.”

Why teacher unions are good for your kids | Glenn Sacks, Los Angeles Daily News

“The only group that is aware of teachers’ ability to provide students with a good education and that fights to defend them are the teachers’ unions. Teacher unions contribute to children’s education because they protect a valuable resource: teachers’ time. In non-union schools, teachers are often overloaded with unnecessary work, such as yard work and supervising school events. These tasks reduce teachers’ ability to spend time helping students and preparing lessons. »

Why teachers’ unions are the worst of the worst | Edward Ring, California Policy Center

“The teachers’ unions are guilty of all the problems common to all public sector unions. They, too, negotiated unsustainable rates of pay and benefits. They too elect their own bosses, negotiate inefficient work rules, crave more public funds, and protect incompetent members. But the teachers’ union is worse than all other public sector unions for one reason that trumps all others: their agenda negatively affects how we socialize and educate our children, the next generation of Americans.

School Board Update: Filing Deadlines, Election Results and Reminder Certificates

Ballotpedia has historically covered school board elections in about 500 of the nation’s largest districts. We are gradually increasing the number we cover by keeping an eye on all of the approximately 14,000 districts with elected school boards.

Filing deadlines for school boards in the next 30 days

Here are the upcoming filing deadlines for the districts we cover.

March 11

March 18

March 22

Next school elections

We are covering a school board recall election in the next 30 days. the March 29 the recall is against Tim Stentiford, one of 12 members of the Regional School Unit 21 school board in Maine. Recall supporters cited the loss of teachers in the district, increased spending on human resources, and the lack of a school board curriculum committee as reasons for their campaign.

Schools in the following states will hold general school board elections on April 5:

  • Arkansas
  • Oklahoma
  • Missouri
  • Wisconsin

We will tell you more about these elections in future editions.

Candidates for school boards by seat to be filled

For the 144 school board races we cover whose filing deadlines have passed, an average of 2.3 candidates are running for each seat, the same number of candidates per seat we tracked on March 2..

Twenty states end their participation in the National School Board Association

Since October 2021, 20 public school board associations have terminated or suspended their membership in the National Association of School Boards (NSBA). Founded in 1940, the NSBA States that it uses federal advocacy, legal advocacy, and public engagement to shape “federal education policy, raises public awareness of critical issues such as school safety, and champions the mission of the public education to prepare our nation’s youth for the future.

Board actions followed NSBA’s September 29, 2021 letter to the President Joe Biden (D) in which the organization described “threats and acts of violence against public school children, public school board members, and other public school district officials and educators” and called for “enforcement of federal law and other forms of assistance to address the growing number of threats of violence and acts of intimidation occurring across the country.

On October 22, the NSBA withdrew the letter, in writing“As you are all aware, the media and others have recently drawn attention to our letter to President Biden regarding threats and acts of violence against school board members. … On behalf of the NSBA, we regret and we We apologize for the letter. To be clear, the safety of school board members, other public school officials and educators, and students is our top priority, and there remains significant work to be done on this issue. However, there is no There was no justification for some of the language included in the letter.

Several boards have directly cited the NSBA’s letter to Biden as a reason to withdraw from the NSBA. For example, in a letter to members, the Pennsylvania School Boards Association wrote“The most recent national controversy surrounding a letter to President Biden suggesting that some parents should be considered domestic terrorists was the final straw.”

Others cited governance issues more broadly, such as the Louisiana School Boards Association, whose board noted they had considered retiring from the NSBA before the letter due to “continuing concerns about the management, leadership and general direction of their organization”.

On February 7, the NSBA announced that it was “initiating a comprehensive independent review to fully understand the circumstances surrounding the letter sent to the Biden administration.” To read the associated memo, click here.

The table below lists each state organization that has withdrawn from the NSBA by date. Click on here read each organization’s withdrawal statement.

Five affiliated state associations – Mississippi School Boards Association, Montana School Boards Association, North Carolina School Boards Association, Virginia School Boards Association – have announced their intention to withdraw from the NSBA in June 2022.

Take our candidate connection survey to reach voters in your riding

Everyone deserves to know their candidates. However, we know that it can be difficult for voters to find information about their candidates, especially for local offices such as school boards. That’s why we created Candidate Login—a survey designed to help candidates talk to voters about their campaigns, issues and more.

If you are a school board nominee or holder, click here to take the survey.

The survey contains over 30 questions, and you can choose the ones you think will best represent your point of view to voters. If you complete the survey, a box with your responses will appear on your Ballotpedia profile. Your answers will also populate the information that appears in our mobile app, My ballot.

And if you’re not running for school board, but there’s an election in your community this year, share the link with candidates and invite them to complete the survey!


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