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Comments about ‘GOP resolution calls for partisan election of state, local school boards’

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Published: Monday, April 21 2014 5:20 p.m. MDT

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jean22
Bountiful, UT

BAD IDEA!!! Please don't make school board elections partisan!

Lagomorph
Salt Lake City, UT

Article: "'In general, the public doesn’t have a clue when they go into the voting booth who’s running for state or local school board,' Norton said. 'They show up and they see some names on there, and they don’t know anything about those people at all and so they take a guess.'"

The GOP is banking on school board elections riding the coattails of straight ticket voters and people "don’t know anything about those people at all" mechanically voting for the "R" next to a name.

I honestly don't know why some races are partisan. In some jurisdictions, apolitical functions like surveyor and coroner are partisan races. I really don't care what a county surveyor's stance on federalism or abortion rights or Obamacare is, as long as he or she can run a total station and close a survey within specified tolerances.

School board elections should be kept nonpartisan.

FT
salt lake city, UT

Everything I've seen indicates all elections in Utah are partisan.

gridlockisbetter
Toosmalltosay, UT

The current system is too easily manipulated. Something needs to change or we will always get virtually no choice. If these elections were partisan then we would get clear choices at multiple levels. I say we do it.

tabuno
Clearfield, UT

I agree that local school board races are often ignored by the general public even though they may have the greatest impact on voter's lives and taxes. However, the fault in not that these races are nonpartisan, but that both the media and the many school board candidates themselves fail to pay attention to really informing the public about the real detailed issues impacting school board races. Instead candidates and media often just offer up sound bites, fancy sounding brief biographies and generalized statements that sound like either political party might usually support. The real local democratic process starts at the school and local school boards supporting the state mandated local school community councils to get residents, parents, and students more involved in the substantive issues impacting their schools while the state legislature continues to back up that support through more funding of these councils that are directly elected by neighborhood residents and teachers.

Strider303
Salt Lake City, UT

Even with the potential problems with partisan candidates, I support the resolution. IMO it is impossible to find a rational adult who is totally devoid of some political philosophy or leaning. The idea of "Non-Partisan" anything is a myth foisted on the public.

We all are partisan or opinionated, Each candidate should be required to enter the debate and articulate his/her political bent or leaning as it pertains to the school board and function.

I find it insulting that the governor is able to select candidates for a state wide office that has such a large impact on the citizens and our budget without a direct selection by the voting public. Heavens, we were good enough for the governor's race why not the school board?

Democracy and Republican Democracy can be messy and frustrating. Deal with it. Open meetings and open elections isn't that the battle cry of the Left? Well this is a good place to start.

Find good candidates, support them and vote for them and live with the results. If you don't get involved, don't gripe.

Cannon
Morgan, UT

Calling an election Non-Partisan does not make it so. Collecting and spending tax revenue and choosing curriculum for students are activities influenced most by ideology. Why are we pretending otherwise? The current system has created hidden partisanship, not removed partisanship.

Furry1993
Ogden, UT

Bad idea. If this became a partisan race, the candidates would be more concerned about supporting their party's position than working for the good of Utah's school children. The school children would be short-changed as a result. For the good of Utah's school children, keep these positions non-partisan.

HLorenz
salt lake city, UT

Why does Oak feel the need to exclude a group of people from running in school board election? I’m referring to the Hatch Act where a Federal Government employee is excluded from running in a partisan election. Why would anyone exclude this group of people? What groups of people would he exclude next? A scary thought. Other's in history have tried to exclude groups of people. Where does his exclusion end? Federal employees are already excluded from other races. Why exclude them more? We live in a Republic – all should have an equal opportunity.

Also, a State Senator was talking in a recent education committee meeting and said they found that the current State Board of Education is made up of 14 registered Republicans and 1 registered Democrat. What is Oak trying to accomplish by making the State Board of Education a partisan race? Does he want to control the entire State Board of Education with 15 Republicans?

Delegtes, Vote NO on this issue

Esquire
Springville, UT

Why does everything have to be partisan? How would making school board elections partisan change a single thing? This whole suggestion is offensive.

all hands on deck
Sandy, UT

By making the state school board accountable to delegates, we will be able to actually VET them instead of blindly picking someone with a nice name. Great idea! I support the resolution.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Reading the comment by "gridlockisbetter" tells us all we need to know about why the writer chose that moniker.

Making our school board even more political than it already is would not be an intelligent thing to do. Can anyone say "For Profit Charter Schools" or "Vouchers?"

Bored to the point of THIS!
Ogden, UT

I see this as an attempt for Republicans to gain even more control of the State. The only reason to pursue this plan would be to put an "R" and a "D" in front of a candidates name... which as we all know in this State, gives the "R" person the advantage.

I like the system as it is... it forces voters to vote for people and ideas, rather than taking the easy way out and taking the party line.

cdmom
Provo, UT

This resolution will do nothing for the "people" in terms of being able to vet the candidates. All this will do is make it possible for the republican insiders to determine who we will see on the ballot. It will not tell me or any other voter anything more about the candidate than if the candidate was non-partisan, except that they are a card-carrying member of their chosen party and they are willing to say that they uphold the platform of that party.

This is a case of Oak Norton not being able to get enough of his chosen on the Alpine School Board. Now, he is doing what he does best, run to the State Governing Institution to get his way. He did this with the State School Board over Investigations Math, when he didn't get his way with ASD School Board. That started the revamp of the State Math Core Curricula. Now, he doesn't like that and wants the State to revamp everything again, like we have enough education money to throw money at all his windmills.

airnaut
Everett, 00

This was precisely what the Gadiantons did.

Hand picking, selecting Nepotism.

What we are witnessing in the modern day version of the once righteous nephites,
invoking the ancient ways of Cain the Master Mahan.

We might as well rename the Republican Party to the Kishkumen Party, or
Party after the Order of Kishkumen.

There You Go Again
Saint George, UT

Great Idea.

All Utah residents should have an R by their name...on their forehead...wherever.

State/Local School Board elections are a fine first step.

Wonderful.

OHBU
Columbus, OH

As has been pointed out, the school board is already overwhelmingly Republican. While it's true that everyone is to some degree partisan, having an election be non-partisan is no small matter. When an election is partisan, the candidate's primary responsibility is staying on the good side of the party bosses, so they can keep representing the party. This is why they want a partisan process. Right now, when the GOP is upset with a board member, they don't really have the necessary leverage to insert themselves into the process and pressure the board member into voting party line on school issues. Instead, they have the freedom to make educational decisions they feel are best.

I'm fine with throwing out the current system, but what replaces it should be more open, and the delegates should be more accountable to the electorate, not the party big wigs.

Owen
Heber City, UT

Strider - Each candidate does enter the debate and articulate his/her political bent or leaning as it pertains to the school board and function.

Each voter should pay attention without looking for an R or D.

Esquire
Springville, UT

@ There You Go Again, intriguing idea. A scarlet letter.

sailorgal
Bountiful, UT

I have to agree totally with Strider303, it is insulting to have the State School Board members essentially selected by the Governor. And anyone who thinks local school boards are not partisan should examine what decisions have been made by the local boards. And look closely at the background of all the members on the board. It is rare case when someone who has not been an integral part of the education system gets elected to the board. When it comes to how my tax dollars are spent, I want someone with business or accounting background to be making those decisions, not retired teachers.

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