What is at stake in school board elections this year.
On Tuesday, November 7, 2023, voters in 499 school districts will elect school board members who will have enormous power to shape the priorities of our local public schools and influence the quality of education students in our communities receive.
In recent years, Pennsylvania has become a focal point for extremist politicians, including at the school district level. In some places extremists will be running for school board to promote a political agenda and impose their personal and religious beliefs on students, teachers, and district staff. Their goals will include enacting regressive book bans, censorship of classroom discussions about race and gender identity, and policies discriminating against individual students because they identify as LGBTQ+.
Our communities depend on school boards to use tax dollars wisely and to ensure that our local schools will provide students with the opportunities that will allow them to thrive in school today and succeed in life after graduation. In districts that have elected a majority of extremists to their boards, we have seen tax dollars wasted on legal bills defending extremist policies instead of being invested in educating children. Ultimately, we have seen these boards that have no concern for the quality of education students receive.
Learn more about the roles and responsibilities of school boards and how to talk about what is happening in school board elections this year with your friends and neighbors.
Make a Plan to Vote on Tuesday, May 16th!
Pennsylvania primary elections are on Tuesday, May 16th. Many school board races will be decided in the primary election, so it is critical for you to learn about the candidates in your district and make a plan to vote.
- Learn about who is running for school board in your district by visiting your county bureau of elections website to find a list of candidates. Research candidates by searching on Facebook and Google and asking your friends and neighbors.
- Candidates are allowed to “cross file” and appear on both the Democratic and Republican primary ballots. You cannot be certain that the candidate is a member of the party on your ballot.
- School board races can be decided by a handful of votes. Make sure to bring your friends to the polls!
Join our school board monitoring/alert program!
In districts throughout the commonwealth advocates are keeping an eye on what is happening at their communities’ school board meetings and alerting us when harmful policies are introduced.
We invite you to join this network.
- Fill out this form.
- Our staff will review your responses and provide you with feedback and/or resources.
- We will invite you to join a space where advocates who are doing this work can connect and learn from each other and continue to support you as you keep an eye on your district and alert us to any concerning policies or actions that you observe.