Why vote for school board?

Historically, school boards didn't gain much attention outside of their communities. But a lot has changed in the past year. Across the country, extremists are causing chaos at school board meetings by screaming at elected officials and repeating conspiracy theories. In the short term, these outbursts are distracting, but their long-term effects are more troubling: They will change who runs for local school boards and who wins those seats—in many cases for the worse. 

In order to ensure that we elect school board representatives who are focused on the real needs of our children, we need to be informed voters. Often times, the information you need is hard to find. Check out this guide for help on learning as much as you can before Election Day. 

What does a school board do?

VISION

Sets district vision, adopts goals and priorities, and monitors progress in the best interest of students

POLICY

Adopts and reviews district’s local policies in compliance with federal and state laws and regulations

SUPERINTENDENT

Hires and evaluates superintendent and works with input of the superintendent

BUDGET

Ensure adequate budget, facilities, materials and human resources

COMMUNITY

Acts as liaison with the community in meetings, which follow state laws

What is the role of the family? 

Parents can communicate constructive information to the school board regarding their child’s education. They can offer valuable insights to the board on impacts of decisions by speaking at board meetings or engaging with the board via email. Collaborative communication creates an open dialogue.  

 

Students can expect the support of the board to help create the best learning environment for all students. Students can also share needs or concerns with the board.

What makes a good
school board member? 

You got my vote!

As voters, we should be knowledgeable of the traits that make someone a worthy candidate for school board. And while there’s no perfect definition of a “good candidate,” there are few things worth looking for.

The best school board members already have a record of community service and leadership before they even consider running. 

  • A former teacher or principal

  • A coach for one of the local youth sports teams

  • A local business owner who uses their business to support the schools

  • Someone who often volunteers in the community

  • The parent of a child who is currently in the school district

The most important question to ask yourself: Do they understand the unique needs of this community?

The best school board members have a strong record of community service and leadership:

  • A former teacher or principal

  • A coach for one of the local youth sports teams

  • A local business owner who uses their business to support the schools

  • Someone who often volunteers in the community

  • The parent of a child who is currently in the school district

The most important question to ask: “Do they understand the unique needs of this community?”

No thanks!

Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to tell when someone is running for the right reasons. So here are some red flags to watch out for when evaluating if a candidate for school board is running with the wrong intentions.

They’re not from the community — Is the person dropping in from another town outside your school district just to run for office? 

 

They have no prior record of community service–on any level — Has the candidate ever volunteered on the PTO? Chaperoned a field trip? Coached the JV soccer team? Organized a park clean-up? 

 

They’re focused entirely on politics and/or culture wars — Are they focused on the issues that actually affect your school district? Or are they just making provocative statements to try and rile people up? 

They’re not from the community — Is the person dropping in from another town outside your school district just to run for office? 

They have no prior record of community service on any level — Has the candidate ever volunteered on the PTO? Chaperoned a field trip? Coached the JV soccer team? Organized a park clean-up?

They’re focused entirely on politics and/or culture wars — Are they focused on the issues that actually affect your school district? Or are they just making provocative statements to try and rile people up? 

How do I vote for school board?

Check out your state’s voter information guide or Secretary of State website to find your polling place, voter registration status, and more.

Election Day for most school board races this year is November 8, 2022.

How do I run for school board?

We're are working to gather the most accurate info on how to run for school board in states with elections this year. If your state is not below, check out your local election office website for more information.

Who are the candidates in my district?

Click on your state to learn more about the school board elections in 2022

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