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How important are your school board elections?

Published in Blog on May 24, 2022 by Cynthia Kisby

School board members across the country are being scrutinized for their positions on state-funded curricula and teacher/student policies. Florida parents and taxpayers also want to know where school board candidates stand on issues of parental rights and school policies before they vote.

School board elections in Florida, unlike regular political office elections in some states, are nonpartisan which means that no candidate affiliation with a political party will be shown on the ballot. Voters will not be able to vote for a candidate based upon a Republican, Democrat, or other party label. As always, we must do our homework to understand where they stand on the most important issues, for the sake of our future.

A 2021 Houston, TX school board election get-out-the-vote initiative by Convention of States Foundation served as the model for raising awareness for school board elections across the nation. Mark Meckler, President of the Convention of States Action, stressed the importance of these nonpartisan surveys and these get out the vote (GOTV) efforts:

“Oftentimes it’s hard to know where school board candidates stand on some of the most important issues of the day, making it difficult for voters to determine who would best represent them, their children, and their values. The Convention of States Foundation survey gives Houston Independent School District voters a clearer picture of how the candidates seeking to represent them would lead and encourages everyone to participate in the local electoral process.”

Given the complexity of the school board election processes, Convention of States Action - Florida (COSA-FL) has created a Call to Action (CTA), fully approved and vetted by Convention of States Action national leadership, to bring transparency to citizen voters and Convention of States supporters. This GOTV CTA is intended to shed light on the process and make candidate positions more easily accessible – if a candidate chooses to respond.

In order to gather information, COS has a survey for school board candidates that asks candidates to respond to the following five yes/no questions:

  1. Will you oppose all curriculum that incorporates the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT), Social Emotional Learning, or Marxist ideology? 

  2. Will you oppose a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for students and school staff?

  3. Will you oppose a mask mandate for all students and staff?

  4. Will you oppose policies that allow boys who identify as girls to use the same bathrooms and locker rooms as girls, and also for girls who identify as boys to use the same bathrooms and locker rooms as boys?

  5. Will you support biology-based eligibility standards for participating in boys sports and girls sports?

Once the filing deadline is passed for all candidates, this survey will be sent to all registered school board candidates. That will allow time for COSA-FL to disseminate the candidate responses back to voters so they may know more about the candidates and vote their conscience. 

Watch for the results of the survey which will be released prior to the early voting for the primary which begins August 13th.

Voting in the primary is VERY important for school board elections! If a candidate receives 50% plus 1 of the votes in the primary, there is no further runoff election in November. Our goal is to encourage voters to support candidates whose positions align with their values early in the process and cast their votes accordingly.

If you are willing to make calls to inform and encourage voters to vote wisely in school board primaries, here is how to get started: 

  1. If you are not already a COS volunteer, begin by becoming a volunteer using the form below and, in the comment box for "Other ideas", be sure to add that you wish to be a TelePatriot.

  2. Then contact us via email to say you want to be a TelePatriot.

God bless you and God bless the USA!

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