Republican lawmakers in several states are eyeing a change to school board election procedures to help voters distinguish between candidates in the traditionally nonpartisan elections.
School board elections are considered nonpartisan races throughout most of the country, and candidates generally eschew party labels. But as parental rights activists have pushed back against liberal school board policies nationwide, Republicans in several states are viewing party labels as a way for voters to better distinguish candidates.
Tennessee reportedly passed legislation in October that allowed school board candidates in the state to list their party affiliation, while Florida, Missouri, and Arizona all have similar proposals in various stages of the legislative process.
The American Enterprise Institute’s Max Eden published an October paper calling for states to allow partisan labels and to move school board elections to “on cycle” years as off-cycle elections “deeply depress turnout and minimize genuine ‘local control’ in public education.”