What difference will it make now that state school board candidates will run in partisan elections? Should local school board elections also be partisan?
The majority of Utahns are not in favor of partisan elections for either local or state school boards. In addition, all municipal mayors and councils are elected as non-partisan representatives of their cities. Currently, local school boards are elected in non-partisan elections and until now state school board elections have also been non-partican. As a member of the South Ogden City Council I have never had a reason to declare myself as a Republican on any issue.
I am proud to be a Republican and under the current rules running as a Republican for the State School Board. I believe however that it would be best for our schools and society in general if all local and state school boards remained or returned to being non-partisan.
A possible solution is to have the governor appoint the State School Board. Utah is one of only 11 states that currently elect state school boards. In most states it is an appointed office by the governor. When resignations have occurred on the board, Governor Herbert has made excellent choices on mid-term appointments.
Note: When the Utah Supreme Court ruled that partisan elections for the Utah State Board of Education were NOT against the Utah State Constitution I was surprised and disappointed. I have concerns with my current position, but I do not believe we will never return to non-partisam, open primary, State School Board elections. In my opinion the middle ground by default then becomes the governor appointed selection process.
It is also important to note that the Utah Board of Regents which is given oversight of our colleges and universities is a governor appointed body.
In the final analysis I am not absolutely sold on any solution, but I believe we should be activly talking about it.
Posted on 29 May 2020, 23:00 - Category: Political Viewpoints