Two bills that would make school boards and city councils partisan offices, with partisan primary elections, are being considered by the Kentucky General Assembly. The impact of HB50 & SB50 would have harmful effects on local school boards, and the students and districts they serve.
There are numerous reasons to oppose school board elections becoming partisan. The drafters of the Kentucky Constitution had the wisdom to explicitly assert that public education shall be nonpartisan. Our forefathers recognized that education must transcend partisan politics. While there are places where partisan discussions are appropriate, the classroom, which reflects the work of the local school board, is not one of them. Simply put, we need less political influence in public education – not more.
Community-elected school board members, along with the dedicated professional educators and staff, best understand the needs of the students and schools in their districts. Injecting partisan issues into school board elections would shift the focus to national-level political fights that have no connection whatsoever to education in Kentucky communities. In the process, we’d lose community-driven decisions like how we teach reading and math, how we fund SROs and mental health professionals, and when and where new schools should be built.
We must keep Kids First in Kentucky. I encourage you to contact your lawmakers now and urge them to oppose HB50 and SB50.