Who should choose school board members? The governor or the people?

Please sign this petition immediately and share this with your friends and neighbors.

Utah citizens only

In support of partisan elections

We, the undersigned, support SB 104, Education Elections and Reporting Amendments, which uses partisan elections to vet candidates and allow locally elected delegates to narrow the voting field of candidates who appear on the ballot. Partisan elections are used with great success in all other major elections in Utah and it makes perfect sense to allow the same process to function in large scale elections for school board members. The Salt Lake Tribune editorial of 10-30-2014 stated that there is no reason to come up with a new method of electing school board members. They stated:

"Actually, they don't need to invent a thing. All they have to do use the same system we use to choose other state office holders. The process that is good enough to elect governors, attorneys general and members of the Legislature... People who want to be on the state school board should go through the same process as people who want to serve in the Legislature... It's good enough for legislators. It should be good enough for school board members."

The current system is broken. It guarantees that a single political party comprised of the UEA, USBA, and other educator organizations, dominate the election of the people on school boards.

Other facts

  • Locally elected delegates vet candidates most effectively
  • Increased transparency by highly effective caucus delegates
  • Lower cost to run for office
  • More people engaged in the issues important to education
  • Board members still represent all the people, just like you represent all your constituents
  • Partisan elections are constitutional
  • Party affiliation just lets you know where their core principles stand
  • State GOP Resolution strongly requested the legislature pass partisan elections
  • Utah County GOP Resolution strongly requested the legislature pass partisan elections
  • Not passing SB 104 would be hypocritical since it is the same system used to elect you

I further request that no bill be passed that involves empowering the governor to appoint board members. The 15 state school board members have control of half of the state's budget. Empowering them to be appointed by the governor instead of through the caucus system that has produced the "best managed state" in the union would be folly and give too much power to one individual.

For further information on why partisan elections are the best system for vetting candidates, please see these resources:

Partisan School Board Election Arguments

Partisan School Board Resolution Debate

Responding to charges against partisan school board elections

The arguments against partisan elections – SB 104 S2

One thought on “Who should choose school board members? The governor or the people?”

  1. I don’t recall her name, but it wasn’t long ago that a Utah woman who had children in the public schools, disconcerted by some radical public school policies and curricula, decided to run for school board office to effect a change in direction. This woman had many supporters who worked alongside her on her campaign, but she was unable to get her message out to very many due to shortage of funds.

    Her opponent was a public school “party” favorite dedicated to the course they were on, supported by the education unions and the full public school party machine. The opponent had unlimited resources and supporters, knocking on doors and spreading their message far and wide.

    The woman lost her bid to try and change the system from within, not because of her capabilities or her message, but because she stood virtually alone against the party machine. If she had run as a vetted candidate of one of the two political parties, with the full support of her party, she would have been able to reach out more widely and many more would have heard her message. Perhaps she, and others like her, would have had a real chance to overcome the brute force of the public school machine. If we had had partisan school board elections 10 years ago, maybe we wouldn’t now be suffering under Common Core.

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