To: Rep. McKell, M.,
Subject: Reasons 2 and 3 of 9 for Partisan School Board Elections
Here are my next two reasons for passing Brian Greene's bill for partisan school board elections:
REASON 2 – Utah voters are less informed about school board candidates and issues than about any other race, except, possibly, judicial retention and mosquito abatement districts. This is in spite of the fact that most people consider public education to be among the highest priorities for government attention. Just think how many times you have stood at the voting machine and said to yourself, as you near the end of the ballot, ”School Board? I have no idea who these people are or what they stand for!”
Yet school districts control the spending of four times the tax money of county governments. The state board of education oversees 28% of state spending in addition to overseeing all school districts’ spending. That is a lot of control of government resources with very limited electoral oversight.
Thousands of well-informed locally elected delegates returning home from their nominating conventions will do a lot to inform their neighbors about school board candidates and issues while selecting better candidates for the ballot. Also party funds given to help the campaigns of party candidates will do a lot to better inform the voters at large about the important issues facing school board members.
REASON 3 – Advocates of non-partisan school board elections argue that we need to keep politics out of the schools. Yet our state and local school board elections are already fraught with politically charged rhetoric. Only the party labels are missing. Current education insiders take advantage of their political organization and use our school infrastructure to lobby teachers, students and parents. However, those with different opinions have not even so much as a party organization to help them get their message out to voters.
Some may worry that partisan elections will result in political indoctrination of our children in school. I would be naïve to believe that would never happen, because it happens now with our current one-party system. Do you wonder why our children celebrate earth day and multi-culturalism while graduating with the belief that socialism is good, homosexual marriage is fine and big government can solve all our problems if we just give it enough money? I’ll tell you why. They are already being politically indoctrinated, but not with the principles of their parents. At least partisan school board elections will encourage the teaching of the principles of the majority.Politics (ideologies) are already present in our school board elections. Partisan elections will only level the playing field and give equal opportunity to competing voices.