To: Cathy Kay,
Subject: HB 228 on Partisan School Board Elections
Date: Mon Feb 24 17:45:18 MST 2014
Please pass Brian’s bill out of committee
My biggest reasons are:
1. The education budget of Utah is the largest single category of expenditures. Money is always partisan. Power flocks to money. Hiding behind the non-partisan curtain does not allow constituents to know where candidates stand on any issue. Members of the state school board support democratic bills over republican bills by a 2:1 margin according to a former state school board member. This does not represent the makeup of the state electorate.
2. State School Board Districts (15) are twice as big as State Senate Districts (29), and State School Board candidates never have the resources to even send one mailer to all the voters in their area. Voters who do not hear about a state school board member cannot make an informed vote. Nonpartisan elections are intended for small local races (like City Council) where you can presumably meet the candidate, and thus do not need a party affiliation. But the 15 members of the State School Board in 2012 will likely have approximately 200,000 residents in their district! There is no way they can meet with more than 20,000, under any circumstances. In other words, party affiliation is absolutely necessary in any election on such a big scale.